REUTERS – Five players were sent off and Carlos Tevez gave away a penalty that handed River Plate a 1-0 win over Boca Juniors in a far from amicable seaside ‘friendly’ between Argentina’s biggest rivals on Saturday.
Argentina striker Tevez blocked a free kick with his arm in the 17th minute and Leonardo Pisculichi converted the penalty in the traditional off-season clash at the Atlantic resort of Mar de Plata.
“In four days, five sent off, in two matches, we must grow (up),” Tevez told reporters.
Champions Boca, who had three players dismissed on Saturday, also had two shown the red card in a 4-2 defeat by Racing Club in Mar del Plata in midweek.
Argentina full back Jonathan Silva, signed by Boca from Sporting of Portugal, was sent off 10 minutes into his debut for a lunge on Gabriel Mercado which forced the River defender out of the game with an injured ankle.
Boca were down to eight men against River’s 11 by the 78th minute after two more defenders were sent off, Gino Peruzzi for a foul and Daniel Diaz for insulting referee Patricio Loustau.
River then had centre back Jonathan Maidana dismissed for head butting Tevez during an argument that sparked a melee among rival players and Pisculichi was also sent off for his involvement.
“Neither of us behaved well,” Tevez said referring to himself and Maidana. “You regret it afterwards because it generates violence outside (the pitch).”
Loustau blew his whistle for 40 fouls and booked nine other players during the friendly.
(Writing by Rex Gowar, editing by Alan Baldwin)