Watch: River Plate players sing It's a Long Way to Tipperary after Copa Libertadores victory over Boca Juniors in Madrid

Sun, Dec 09 2018

Credit: CA River Plate

It will be a long way back to Beunos Aires for defeated Boca Juniors but fierce rivals River Plate were singing an altogether different tune on Sunday night.

Los Millionarios’ players sang a song to the tune of It’s a Long Way to Tipperary after pipping their city rivals to the Copa Libertadores title with a 5-3 aggregate win at the Bernabeu in Madrid.

The song, written by Jack Judge, the son of Irish emigrants, and Harry Williams in Stalybridge, Lancashire in 1912, has been adopted by Rivers fans in recent times.

It was originally picked up by Irish troops serving in the British Army during World War One and has since been associated with that war.

The air forms the basis of their fan anthem, Tu Grato Nombre, which was sung by the players following their dramatic extra-time win.

Boca have something of a Tipperary link themselves, their first coach in 1905, and a founding member, having been Paddy McCarthy, from Cashel.

The game had to be moved after the second leg, scheduled for Rivers’ El Monumental home two weeks ago, but was postponed after the away side’s bus was attacked and several players injury.

With the tie evenly poised at 2-2 after the first leg in Buenos Aires, Boca took the lead late in the first half with a scintillating counter-attack goal.

River missed two chances to take the lead and allowed Boca to break, and Nihatil Nandez played a sublime through-ball for Dario Benedetto, who showed poise to make it 1-0.

Lucas Pratto tied things up midway through the second half as he got on the end of a lightning-quick passing move before slotting the ball firmly into the net.

Boca were reduced to ten men early in extra time as Colombia Wilmar Barrios was dismissed for a second bookable offence, and River took full advantage.

Porto loanee Juan Quintero put River in front for the first time in the second leg shortly before the break as he curled an unstoppable shot in off the bar.

And with Boca pushing for an unlikely equaliser, and goalkeeper Esteban Andrada forward for a corner, River broke with pace and Gonzalo Martínez ran the ball into an empty net.