Boca-River Libertadores final suspended due to heavy rain

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              A journalist watches rain falling on the Alberto Armando stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. The South American Football Confederation, CONMEBOL, postponed, due to heavy rain, the Copa Libertadores first leg semifinal soccer match between Boca Junior and River Plate. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The first leg of the Copa Libertadores final between Boca Juniors and River Plate on Saturday was postponed because torrential rain flooded La Bombonera stadium.

CONMEBOL said the game will be played on Sunday.

The second leg is at River’s Monumental de Nunez on Nov. 24.

Before the decision, the referees checked the swamped field. When they kicked the ball to test conditions, it got stuck in the puddles and, as they walked, their boots sunk and splashed water.

The clubs are known for one of the most intense rivalries in the world. Visiting fans have not been allowed since 2013. The next two games will be even more magnified than usual because this is the first time Argentina’s two biggest teams will meet in the Copa Libertadores final.

In recent days, the rivalry has reached fever pitch: A couple named their newborn Enzo “River Plate” Bejarano. Cardiologists warned against “The Game of the Century” could be too risky for the faint of heart. And while a man reportedly said he was ready to postpone his marriage because it coincided with the game, another one prepared for the final by painting his dog in his club’s colors.

Passionate fans traveled from every corner of Argentina to support their clubs, but dark storm clouds loomed over Argentina’s capital from early on. Many waved flags and chanted non-stop while they waited for hours on Saturday under lightning and incessant rain.

“Heaven sided with River because it’s afraid to play with us,” Boca fan Sandro Perea said in the bleachers of the stadium wearing a soaked shirt in his team’s blue and gold colors.

“It makes me really mad. This final is anguishing. We just want to play it now.”

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Associated Press writer Debora Rey contributed to this report.