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Live Commentary: River Plate 1-2 Boca Juniors - as it happened

:Headline: Live Commentary: River Plate 1-2 Boca Juniors - as it happened: ID:311213: from db_amp
Relive Boca Juniors' 2-1 win over River Plate at El Monumental as the Argentine league leaders extend their 100% start to the season in the Superclasico.

Boca Juniors extended their 100% start to the Superliga season at the expense of their biggest rivals this evening as they ran out 2-1 winners over River Plate at El Monumental.

A torrid week for River got worse when they were reduced to 10 men late in the first half, with Edwin Cardona breaking the deadlock from the resulting free kick to add insult to injury.

Cardona was shown a red card himself in the second half, though and River were soon level through Leonardo Ponzio's stunning long-range strike with just over 20 minutes remaining.

Parity lasted only four minutes, however, with Nahitan Nandez firing home the winner soon afterwards to lift them nine points clear at the top of the table after just eight games.

Find out how all of the action unfolded courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute coverage below.

Good evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for tonight's match, and what a huge match it promises to be as River Plate host Boca Juniors at El Monumental!

This has been dubbed the biggest fixture in club football and the fiercest rivalry too, so we're expecting fireworks on this bonfire night.

Kickoff is at 9.05pm, which means that the team news should be filtering through any minute now...

What we can expect tonight is a lot of noise from the fans and a lot of passion both in the stands and on the field, with this game being the highlight of the Argentine football calendar - perhaps even the South American football calendar.

People absolutely adore their football in Argentina, and the feeling is cranked up a few more notches any time these Buenos Aires rivals meet.

These two sides have endured differing starts to the season, but form often goes out of the window in derby matches and this is the biggest derby match of the lot.

Boca will certainly be hoping that this one does go the way of the formbook, but River Plate have a point to prove and will be desperate to bounce back from the huge disappointment of throwing away a place in the Copa Libertadores final in midweek.

The hosts tonight were on the brink of reaching the final of the Copa Libertadores - South America's version of the Champions League - on Wednesday when they led Lanus 2-0 in their semi-final second leg, building a 3-0 aggregate advantage with their 1-0 first-leg victory too.

However, they conceded goal immediate before and after half time to let Lanus back into the tie and further goals from Acosta and Silva saw them throw it all away and lost 4-2 on the night, and 4-3 on aggregate.

Rarely in River's illustrious history have they suffered as devastating a defeat as that, but it means that their sole focus can now turn to the Superliga, where they already have some catching up to do.

Marcelo Gallardo's side have only won three of their opening seven matches so far this season, leaving them languishing down in 12 place heading into today's game.

Victory in the Superclasico could be exactly the catalyst River need to kickstart their campaign, although with the exception of tonight's opponents it is all very tight at the top end of the table and still far too early to draw any conclusions.

Only three points separate Talleres Cordoba in second and Lanus in 14th, so a couple of victories for River would lift them right back into the top four, which are the Copa Libertadores qualifying positions.

River will need to improve defensively if they are to climb that high once again having conceded 10 goals in their opening seven games, which before today's fixtures was the second-most out of any team in the top 21.

River have scored only 11 goals at the other end too, so there are improvements to be made at both ends of the field if they harbour ambitions of catching Boca.

River have lost their last two matches heading into tonight's spectacular, conceded four goals in each defeat including that Copa Libertadores exit on Wednesday.

River's last league outing also ended in serve disappointment as they were beaten 4-0 by high-flying Talleres Cordoba, conceding three goals in the space of 12 second-half minutes en route to the heavy defeat.

River Plate have now conceded as many goals in their last two games as they had in their previous eight, which is not the type of form you want to take into a match against your in-form enemies.

Another defeat this evening, in addition to surrendering the bragging rights to Boca, would see River fall to three consecutive defeats for the first time since January.

In the Superliga alone River Plate are now winless in four, drawing three of those and losing one to give them a tally of just three points from the last 12 on offer.

River had made a strong start to the season with three wins from their opening three games, but they have now not tasted victory in the league since beating San Martin de San Juan on September 18.

Should River Plate fall to another defeat this evening, which is entirely possible considering Boca's form, then it would be the first time this season that they have lost back-to-back league games.

Perhaps more importantly it would open up a 12-point gap to Boca which, even after this very early stage of the season, is a huge ask to make up on the defending champions.

River Plate will be confident of picking up the victory at El Monumental, though, having been in good form in front of their own fans so far this season.

Marcelo Gallardo's side are unbeaten in their 10 home outings across all competitions so far this season, winning seven of those and drawing three. River has also scored 30 goals in that time - an average of three per game which was significantly boosted by an 8-0 win over Bolivian side Wilstermann in the Copa Libertadores quarter-final.

However, River have only won one of their three home league games this season, drawing the last two in front of their own fans having made a winning start.

Another draw, or defeat, tonight would mark the first time they have gone three home league games without a win since April, while they are also still looking for their first home league clean sheet of the season.

As for Boca, they are the defending Argentine champions having won the title last season, ultimately finishing seven points clear of second-place River Plate, so they will be battling for more bragging rights here.

River still boast the all-time record for number of titles won, lifting the trophy 36 times in addition to finishing as runners-up on another 33 occasions. River's last title was back in 2014, though.

Boca are well on their way towards closing the gap in titles to River Plate even further this season having made a perfect start to their season to storm to the top of the Superliga.

Tonight's visitors are already six points clear of their nearest challengers having won all seven of their matches so far, with only one other team even remaining unbeaten, yet alone failing to drop a single point.

As if the points weren't enough to prove that Boca have been the dominant force in the Superliga so far this season, the goal stats also tell that story.

Boca have the best attack in the division with 16 goals from their opening seven games - just shy of three per game - but arguably their most impressive attribute is their defending, with only one goal conceded in the league so far.

That means that Boca have kept six clean sheets from their seven Superliga fixtures so far this season, including each of their last three outings.

Should Boca prevent River from scoring this evening then it would be the second time already this season that Boca have strung together a run of four consecutive clean sheets.

Across all competitions Boca have won nine of their 10 matches so far this season, with the only exception coming in the Copa Argentina when Rosario Central ran out narrow 1-0 winners.

That solitary setback did come away from home too, but they have won four of their five matches on the road, keeping clean sheets on either.

Indeed, stretching back to last season as well Boca are now unbeaten in their last 17 Superliga away games, winning 10 of those and drawing seven.

You have to go back to August 2016 for the last time Boca were beaten on the road in the Argentine league, and so far this season they have a 100% record of three wins from three without conceding.

Boca have not kept four consecutive Superliga away games since April 2012, so this is the type of form that we haven't seen from the club for some time.

Indeed, home and away their run of eight consecutive victories including the final of last season is their best since September 2006, more than 11 years ago, when they won 12 on the bounce.

TEAM NEWS! Right, without further ado allow me to enlighten you as to the team news from El Monumental...
RIVER PLATE STARTING XI: Lux; Montiel, Maidana, Pinola, Casco; Perez, Ponzio, Rojas; Fernandez, Martinez; Scocco
RIVER PLATE SUBS: Batalla, Barboza, De La Cruz, Auzqui, Borre, Rossl, Andrade
BOCA JUNIORS STARTING XI: Rossi; Jara, Goltz, Magalan, Fabra; Nandez, Barrios, Perez; Pavon, Benedetto, Cardona
BOCA JUNIORS SUB: Sara, Peruzzi, Espinoza, Bou, Benitez, Vergini, Bouzat
What can we make of those two teams, then?

Well, the headline news as far as River Plate are concerned is that Scocco starts having missed last weekend's drubbing, with the top scorer leading the line tonight. They missed him against Talleres Cordoba, but he returned in midfield and was quick to get back on the scoresheet - albeit from the penalty spot.

Montiel was River's other goalscorer in midweek and he starts again this evening at full-back. It looks like being a 4-3-2-1 formation from the home side tonight, with Maidana and Pinola partnering up at the heart of the defence and Casco completing the back four.

German Lux, who European football fans may remember from a stint at Mallorca and Deportivo La Coruna, starts between the sticks for the hosts.

There are no changes made whatsoever to the team that start the heartbreaking midweek defeat, but a full 11 from last weekend's match against Talleres Cordoba.

There is another recognisable name in the shape of Rafael Borre on the bench, with the striker spending a year Villarreal last season.

As for Boca, their main dangerman this evening will be Dario Benedetto, who has been in stunning form so far this season.

Benedetto has scored eight league goals in seven appearances for the club so far this season and 34 in 40 outings overall for Boca, so if a chance falls his way tonight he is more than capable of snapping it up.

Boca are without injured captain Fernando Gago - formerly of Real Madrid and Roma - and they too name an unchanged side from last time out, when they thrashed Belgrano 4-0.

Cardona was on the scoresheet alongside two from Benedetto and an own goal, and he will lead the line again this evening.

PREDICTION: We're nearing kickoff time at El Monumental, which means that it is time for a prediction!

This is a difficult one to call - the formbook screams an away win but that can often count for nothing in matches like these. I'm backing Boca to continue their perfect start to the season, but only just.

SPORTS MOLE SAYS: River Plate 1-2 Boca Juniors

River Plate have had the better of recent meetings between these two bitter rivals, winning six and losing just two of their last 11 clashes across all competitions.

The most recent of those came in May when River were two goals to the good inside 25 minutes en route to a 3-1 victory.

Despite their decent record against Boca Juniors of late, it remains an strange quirk that Boca have not won a home league match against their fiercest enemies since November 2010.

Boca's most recent visit came in December of last year when a certain Carlos Tevez was on the scoresheet twice as Boca came from behind in the second half to run out 4-2 winners.

Right, we're just a couple of minutes away from kickoff now so let's have a quick reminder of the team news before we get started...

RIVER PLATE STARTING XI: Lux; Montiel, Maidana, Pinola, Casco; Perez, Ponzio, Rojas; Fernandez, Martinez; Scocco

BOCA JUNIORS STARTING XI: Rossi; Jara, Goltz, Magalan, Fabra; Nandez, Barrios, Perez; Pavon, Benedetto, Cardona

KICKOFF: Here we go then! Boca get the Superclasico underway amid a cacophony of noise inside El Monumental!
The atmosphere is rocking inside El Monumental, as you would expect for a game of such magnitude. No chances to speak of in the opening exchanges as both sides settle into the match.
The last couple of minutes have been disrupted by a few niggly fouls from both sides, and every decision from the referee is being either booed or cheered to the rafters depending on which way it goes.
SAVE! Good football from River Plate as they come sweeping forward with a couple of quick passes which eventually ends up with Scocco breaking into the box. He does not catch his shot as well as he would have liked, though, and it is easy for the keeper to gather in the end.
Boca come forward with their most menacing attack of the match so far, but the final ball is lacking and goes straight behind for a goal kick.
Good spell of possession from Boca here as they begin to see more of the ball inside the River Plate half. The hosts are are sitting deep right now and aiming to nick the ball back and spring a counter.
CHANCE! The visitors have their first chance of the contest, but they are thwarted by a couple of good saves from Lux. The River Plate keeper first takes the ball off the toes of Benedetto before quickly getting back to his feet and tipping Cardona's drive over the crossbar.
Boca are on top right now and a good run from Jara is stopped in its tracks illegally to gift the visitors a free kick in a dangerous crossing position...
SHOT! Cardona opts against the cross and instead goes for goal himself, but his effort flies comfortably over the crossbar.
YELLOW CARD! The first card of the game is shown to Enzo Perez for a mindless lunge from behind on Fabra, who wasn't going anywhere. No complaints there.
Very nearly a chance for the hosts to break the deadlock against the run of play as Scocco plays a ball through for Fernandez, but he can't take it in his stride and Rossi is quickly off his line to get to the ball first. Good goalkeeping.
SHOT! This is not such good goalkeeping from Rossi, who gives the ball straight to Martinez when trying to find his full-back. Martinez has players in support, but he chooses to go for goal himself and fires it comfortably over the bar.
YELLOW CARD! Pinola is the second player in the book tonight for a poor challenge on Benedetto.
SAVE! Cardona takes on the resulting free kick and his effort is not bad, but it is still easy enough for Lux to push it over the crossbar.
River Plate now have a free kick at the other end and Martinez swings a devilish ball into the box, but no-one is able to get a touch as it flash across the face of goal and behind.
Boca Juniors will be the happier of the two sides right now - they have looked most like scoring and have been the better team so far. However, River also look dangerous when coming forward too - this one is really on a knife edge.
CHANCE! Chance for the home side as Martinez takes the ball down on his chest on the right side of the area before sneaking it through the legs of Fabra. He collects it on the other side and is looking for the far corner, but his effort deflects wide for a corner.
This is better from River Plate now. They are keeping hold of the ball and knocking it about nicely to prevent Boca from getting any sort of momentum. The tide is beginning to turn again.
YELLOW CARD! Nandez is the latest - but I would guess not the last - player in the book for a poor challenge on Fernandez.
The fans have not stopped singing from the first whistle here, and the River Plate players are responding on the pitch now. The hosts are very much on top at the moment.
Perez is baffled as to why he has been penalised here, but River have a free kick nonetheless. Another chance for them to get the ball in the Boca box...
SAVE! Rossi comes to claim a corner and immediately looks to spring a counter-attack, but Rojas reads it and intercepts his throw out. Rojas then goes for goal from almost 30 yards and his dipping strike is goalbound before Rossi redeems himself by tipping it over the crossbar.
Still goalless at El Monumental, but it has been an absorbing contest. Both teams have enjoyed spells in the ascendancy.
RED CARD! Ignacio Fernandez (River Plate)
That could be a game-changer! River Plate are reduced to 10 men as Fernandez is shown a straight red card by referee Nestor Pitana!

The midfielder went for a bouncing ball which Cardona got to first, and then followed through with a karate kick that Eric Cantona and Patrice Evra would have been proud of, right into the chest of Cardona. The referee has no hesitation before producing the red card, and you can see why too. Terrible challenge.

After a lot of complaint, protests and debate, Boca are left with a free kick in a very good position after that. More punishment could be coming...
GOAL! River Plate 0-1 Boca Juniors (Edwin Cardona)
Oh what a horror two-minute spell for River Plate! Just a couple of minutes after being reduced to 10 men they concede from the resulting free kick, scored by the man fouled to earn the red.

It is a stunning strike from Cardona, though, with his free kick perfectly placed into the corner to leave Lux no chance in the River goal. Superb free kick.

YELLOW CARD! Fernandez's won't be the last red card of the night if it carries on like this. Maidana is the latest to be booked for a rash challenge.
There will be two minutes of added time at the end of this first half.
SAVE! Boca Juniors can smell blood here and they go looking for a second before half time, but Lux just about does enough to turn a difficult long-range drive from Pavon away from goal.
HALF TIME: River Plate 0-1 Boca Juniors
An action-packed first half comes to an end at El Monumental, with Boca Juniors going into the break with the lead against their 10-man hosts.

It was a good, even match until River was reduced to 10 men, and Boca took the lead from the resulting free kick to add insult to injury. It looks like being a long way back for the home side now, and Boca will feel like they have the chance to get a big win against their fiercest rivals now.

The turning point of the match came when Fernandez was shown a straight red card towards the closing stages of that first half, and he couldn't have many complaints either having caught Cardona with a high boot.

In fairness to Fernandez it was a bouncing ball and he appeared to be making a genuine attempt to get it, but he followed through on the player and the referee was left with little choice but to produce a straight red.

If that wasn't bad enough, Cardona then picked himself up, dusted himself off and scored a stunning goal to give Boca the lead with the resulting free kick.

Cardona actually went to the goalkeeper's side, but the strike was so good and so accurate that Luz was left with no chance. It really was a stunning strike, and one worthy of winning a game of this magnitude.

Both sides have had chances and either could have been ahead before Boca did get the opening goal, but that red card makes things so difficult for River Plate now. It would be some achievement if they are able to get back into this one and come away with something.
KICKOFF: River Plate get us back underway for the second half!
RIVER PLATE SUB: The hosts have made a change at the break, with Nicolas de la Cruz replacing Rojas.
It will be interesting to see how River will approach this second half. You'd think that their priority is to simply remain in the game until the final quarter and then try to nick something, but that is easier said than done.
It has been a solid start to the second half for the home side, who have so far avoided any further scares despite the numerical disadvantage.
Nandez thinks that he is through down the right flank, but the linesman's flag is raised - incorrectly, as it happens.
For their part, Boca are in no real rush here. They know that they are in control of this game with the lead and the numerical advantage, although they will want that second goal to give them a cushion.
CHANCE! And that is exactly why Boca will want the second goal! River have a big chance to level things up as Scocco races through on goal, but his low drive is well saved by Rossi.
YELLOW CARD! Another yellow card is produced, this time for Casco after came through the back of Jara.
YELLOW CARD! Pablo Perez swiftly follows Casco into the book for a foul on his namesake Enzo.
CHANCE! Another chance for River Plate as the ball drops to the feet of De la Cruz, but his low drive skips a couple of yards wide of the far post.
River Plate will be very pleased with how they have started this second half - any hopes that the game could get away from them have proved unfounded so far and, if anything, they should be level here.
Benedetto has the chance to break out and has almost the full River half to run into, but the defender gets back and makes a really good challenge as the last man.
RED CARD! Edwin Cardona (Boca Juniors)
Incredible scenes here as Boca Juniors are reduced to 10 men with the second straight red card of the contest!

The first one was justified, but this one is a truly terrible decision by the referee, who must simply have been looking for a way to level things up again. The referee adjudges Cardona to have elbowed the man marking him, but there was barely any contact, and what contact there was with with his hand. Really poor decision, and one of the harshest red cards you will ever see.

RIVER PLATE SUB: The hosts make another change as Carlos Auzqui replaces Maidana.
River were the better side in the second half even when it was 10 vs. 11 - what can they do now that the numbers are even once again? A fascinating finale awaits us in this one.
Almost a chance for Boca as Pavon collects the ball on the left before standing a cross into the middle, but Benedetto just can't grow enough to get on the end of it at the back post.
GOAL! River Plate 1-1 Boca Juniors (Leonardo Ponzio)
We've had two red cards and now two wonder goals - this Superclasico certainly hasn't disappointed!

This strike from Ponzio may well top the Cardona goal as he picks out the corner with a stunning 30-yard effort which leaves the keeper no chance. Brilliant goal from the veteran midfielder, and what a final 20 minutes we have in store now.

River Plate could go and win this one now - they have been the better side in this second half and look the most likely to score next. Boca can justifiably feel hard done by after that red card, but they didn't make enough of their numerical advantage when they had it.
GOAL! River Plate 1-2 Boca Juniors (Nahitan Nandez)
What a response for Boca, who have regained the lead against the run of play! It is not as spectacular as the two goals we have seen so far, but it is still a very nicely-worked one as the ball is clipped over to Nandez, who fires a first-time volley past the keeper.

Boca looked to be on the ropes a bit, but now they are right back in the driving seat.

FULL TIME: River Plate 1-2 Boca Juniors
What a time to get some gremlins in the system!

Technical issues meant that we could not bring you updates for the closing stages of the Superclasico, but the good news (if you're of a Boca Juniors persuasion) is that there were no further goals, so you didn't miss anything!

Boca hold on for a 2-1 win at the home of the biggest rivals, piling more misery on River Plate at the end of a devastating week for the hosts. The match saw nine yellow cards, two red cards and three goals of really high quality, but ultimately it is Boca who are celebrating.

Right, that is all we have time for this evening!

Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for tonight's match as Boca Juniors pile more misery on River Plate with a 2-1 win in the Superclasico. I will leave you with our match report, but from me it is goodbye for now!

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