Boca expecting tough Superclasico in Copa Libertadores final

Boca Juniors assistant Gustavo Barros Schelotto is expecting a tough battle in the Superclasico after his side booked a derby clash with River Plate

Boca Juniors celebrate reaching the final of the Copa Libertadores   -  Getty Images

River Plate will be tough opponents in the first ever Superclasico Copa Libertadores final, according to Boca Juniors assistant coach Gustavo Barros Schelotto.

Boca Juniors booked its place in the two-legged final by triumphing 4-2 on aggregate against the Brazilian side, Palmeiras on Wednesday. A 2-2 draw in Sao Paulo was enough to follow up a 2-0 home victory in the opening leg.

River Plate's place in the decider remains subject to an appeal from Gremio after last season's champions was beaten in their controversial last-four clash, but Schelotto is looking forward to taking on his team's fierce rivals in Boca Junior's 11th Libertadores final.

"Gremio, Palmeiras and Cruzeiro in the previous round proved to be great teams and the differences between one and the other were minimum," Schelotto, deputising for his suspended brother Guillermo, told a news conference. 

"That's why we spoke in the dressing room and we highlighted having beaten Cruzeiro, which won the Copa do Brasil, and beating Palmeiras which is at the top of the Brasileirao, far away from the second spot. It's very important and we value it very much knowing what's next for us.

"We know they [River Plate] will be as difficult as would any team that reaches the Copa Libertadores final. We will think about the way to win it, no matter what happens outside the field, that can't distract us from what we must do to win this final."

Ramon Abila put Boca Juniors in control with the opening goal and the striker is confident his side deserved a place in the final, against 2015 winners River Plate, at the expense of Palmeiras.

"I think we were better in both games," he said. "We handled both games very well, we were serious when we had to play, we showed character to defend and to attack so I think the end result of the 90 minutes is fair and we are really happy.

"History requests that Boca Juniors is always at the front in Argentina and in the world and we try to give that back. I'm happy for the goal, for the qualification and we hope everything ends well."

Palmeiras coach Luiz Felipe Scolari backed Boca Juniors to triumph over River Plate but rejected the notion that two Argentinian sides reaching the final showed the country is moving ahead of Brazil.

"If I had to choose a favourite to be Libertadores champion, I would say that Boca Juniors is a very experienced team that it knew how to manage the game and stop the game," Scolari said.

"The Argentines will play this year's final because they were better than us, the Brazilians, in these two games, but there is no such thing as a possible superiority of Argentine soccer over the Brazilians."

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