In a highly-anticipated all-Argentina Copa Libertadores final pushed back a day by heavy rain, River Plate twice erased a deficit to earn a 2-2 draw at Boca Juniors.
Ramon Abila got things started just past the half-hour mark as he got two opportunities to put his shot past River goalkeeper Franco Armani, and does so on the second try, somehow sneaking the rebound opportunity through inside the near post from a tight angle.
It would take absolutely no time for the visitors to equalize, scoring immediately off the restart in stunning fashion. They went right down Boca Juniors’ throats, as Gonzalo Martinez delivered a wonderful through-ball for striker Lucas Pratto who scored on the run.
Dario Benedetto, who had come on in the 27th minute for an injured Cristian Pavon, was on hand to put Boca Juniors back up with a skillful header off a free-kick deep in the middle of the pitch. As the delivery came in, Benedetto lept higher than Rafael Borre, and with his back to goal he clipped the ball into the top corner.
It would take 15 minutes after the break, but River Plate would again draw level. In an almost identical play to the Benedetto goal, Pratto went up to challenge for a header on the doorstep with Carlos Izquierdoz, and the ball clipped off the Boca Juniors defender for an own-goal.
Even with the four goals split evenly, the goalkeepers distinguished themselves at multiple points throughout the match. Armani will want the opening goal back, but he had a fine save on Benedetto with time winding down to preserve the draw. Meanwhile, Boca Juniors netminder Agustin Rossi played well early before any goals were scored.
The teams will head across Buenos Aires to El Monumental for the second leg, to be played on Saturday.