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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Copa Libertadores final postponed to Sunday after heavy rain drenches Boca's La Bombonera pitch - in pictures

Boca Juniors take on fierce rivals River Plate in the South American Champions League final, with the winner earning a place at the Fifa Club World Cup in the UAE

Torrential rain forced the postponement of the Copa Libertadores final first leg clash between Argentinian rivals River Plate and Boca Juniors, officials confirmed Saturday.

With rain deluging Boca's famous La Bombonera stadium, officials took the decision to reschedule kick-off for Sunday at 4pm local time (11pm UAE).

"For reasons of major forces the game is suspended for tomorrow at 4pm," South American football's governing body Conmebol announced on Twitter.

The announcement came roughly 95 minutes before Saturday's first leg was scheduled to kick off, with fans already in their seats at the Bombonera.

The game had been in doubt for several hours with Buenos Aires drenched with unrelenting rainstorms. Huge puddles of water could be seen on the Bombonera pitch while water several inches deep flowed in parts of the stadium.

The postponements means the football world will have to wait for what promises to be an epic battle between Boca and River, fierce local rivals who are meeting in the final of South American football's top club competition for the first time.

The match - known as the 'Superclasico' - had been billed as the "Game of the Century". The return leg, at River's Monumental stadium on November 24, will be played before a full house of 67,000.

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Read more:

Copa Libertadores final: Boca v River 'Hiperclásico' has Buenos Aires on edge

Copa Libertadores: Five of the greatest Boca Juniors and River Plate players

Boca and River to contest Copa Libertadores final with winner UAE-bound for Club World Cup

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The winner of the Copa Libertadores will book their place at the Fifa Club World Cup, taking place in the UAE next month.

Uefa Champions League winners Real Madrid will once again be representing Europe and will be aiming to win a third successive Club World Cup title.

The Spanish giants will be joined in the Emirates by Japanese side Kashima Antlers, who on Saturday night clinched their place after winning the Asian Champions League.

Esperance of Tunisia are also recent additions having overturned a first-leg deficit against Egyptian club Al Ahly to win the CAF Champions League.

Mexico's Guadalajara have long since confirmed their place at the Club World Cup after winning the Concacaf Champions League in April, while Team Wellington of New Zealand were crowned OFC Champions League winners in May.

UAE champions Al Ain complete the line-up as the host nation representatives.