Boca Juniors players clash with Brazilian police after Copa Libertadores defeat to Atletico Mineiro

Boca Juniors had a goal ruled out by VAR as they were beaten on penalties by Atletico Mineiro in the Copa Libertadores; footage showed angry clashes outside the dressing rooms afterwards, with police appearing to use tear gas on Boca players

Players of Boca Juniors and Atletico Mineiro argue as referee Esteban Ostojich checks the VAR system during a Copa Libertadores match
Image: Players argued as referee Esteban Ostojich checked the VAR system

Boca Juniors were knocked out of the Copa Libertadores by Atletico Mineiro on Tuesday but both sides are likely to face sanctions after chaotic scenes during and after the match in Belo Horizonte.

Brazilian police appeared to spray angry Boca players at the door of their dressing room after the match, with videos on Argentine and Brazilian websites showing the players choking as they shouted abuse at law enforcement officers.

Globoesporte said the Boca players tried to get into the home dressing room, where the match officials had sought refuge.

Referee Esteban Ostojich disallows a goal scored by Boca Juniors' Marcelo Weigandt
Image: Ostojich disallowed a goal scored by Boca Juniors' Marcelo Weigandt

The players had clashed in the tunnel after the game in which VAR denied Boca what they believed was a legitimate goal for the second time in the tie.

The last-16 tie at the Mineirao stadium ended 0-0 and Atletico went through 3-1 on penalties.

The first leg in Buenos Aires last week also ended goalless and Boca had a goal disallowed for offside after a long VAR check.

A bus carrying Argentina's Boca Juniors soccer team sits parked outside a police station in Belo Horizonte
Image: A bus carrying the Boca Juniors team sits parked outside a police station in Belo Horizonte

When asked if the refereeing was a factor in their elimination, Boca midfielder Diego Gonzalez said: "Without a doubt, everyone can see that. We scored a good goal, and the fact is that we deserved to win the first game as well.

"This hurts, we feel bad. CONMEBOL [the South American Football Confederation] need to look at the refereeing."

Anger spilled over during the second half when the referee went to check the disallowed goal on the pitchside VAR monitor.

Atletico Mineiro players celebrate after beating Boca Juniors on penalties in the Copa Libertadores
Image: Everson is hoisted by his team-mates after scoring the winning penalty

Brazilian officials clashed with Boca players who approached the referee, and assistant coaches from both sides were sent off.

Atletico goalkeeper Everson was the hero, saving two Boca penalties and then scoring the decisive spot-kick to put them into the quarter-finals.

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