Boca Juniors match descends into chaos as star is booted in face, sparking brawl

The Copa Libertadores tie between Boca Juniors and Always Ready descended into total anarchy after defender Frank Fabra was booted in the head by Rodrigo Ramallo.

Ramallo, 31, was given a red card for kicking out at Fabra as the Colombian lay on the ground. But before the referee could find the card in his pocket, the two sets of teams clashed in a colossal brawl as the situation spiralled out of control.

Things boiled over after Fabra was fouled by Ramallo. The challenge itself, a fierce shoulder barge, barely registered with the crowd inside the iconic La Bombonera stadium.

But as Fabra reached out to grab the ball for a free-kick, Ramallo took a wild swing of his boot. Intended for the ball, his kick caught the 31-year-old on the head, sparking wild scenes on the pitch.

Two Boca players immediately rushed over to Ramallo, who was shoved to the ground as the referee struggled to keep a lid on the situation. Several players started brawling by the touchline, while Always Ready stopper Pipo Gimenez was true to the name of his team and sprinted half the length of the pitch to get involved.

Substitutes from both sides also raced along from the touchline to provide their input as the baying crowd inside the 54,000 capacity stadium whipped themselves into a frenzy.

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After more pushing and shoving, referee Gustavo Tejera regained control of proceedings and started issuing cards like there was no tomorrow.

Dario Benedetto, Gaston Avila and Juan Carlos Arce all went into the referee's book for their part in the fracas, while Ramallo received an early bath for his kick that started the melee.

Boca, who were already 1-0 up at the time of the incident, doubled their lead in second half injury time as Benedetto grabbed his second of the match.

"Today we scored two goals and we won, which was the objective," manager Sebastian Battaglia said afterwards. "When a team closes it is difficult to get into it. We have to get finer in some things and improve movements that we have been working on."

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