Three players from each side were sent off before River Plate won a dramatic Copa Sudamericana semi-final tie against Sao Paulo on penalties.

Sao Paulo won Wednesday’s second leg match 2-0 to level the aggregate at 3-3 following River’s 3-1 home leg win in Buenos Aires last week.

In the final minute, the Brazilian side’s substitute Rico was sent off for a high tackle on River’s Horacio Ameli, who was also dismissed for retaliating.

The final whistle provided the cue for a mass free-for-all with players from both sides fighting amongst themselves. The brawl resulted in four more players being shown the red card.

River midfielders Guillermo Pereyra and Diego Barrado and Sao Paulo’s Jean and Luis Fabiano were the quartet who left the pitch before the penalty shootout.

In the final, which will be played over two legs, River will meet either Cienciano of Peru or Colombia’s Atletico Nacional. Cienciano lead 2-1 after the first leg.