River Plate, the most succesful team in Argentina were relegated for the first time in their 110 year history…

River needed to overturn a two-goal deficit against Belgrano de Cordoba but slumped to a 1-1 draw after Mariano Pavone missed a second-half penalty.

The match, held in River’s stadium in Buenos Aires, had to be abandoned in the final minute, amid chaotic scenes. The River fans surged onto the pitch as their once famous club plumeted to the country’s “B” league.

The invasion happened despite unparalleled security, involving more than 2,000 police. There had been allegations before the game that the River Ultras would try to disrupt the Belgrano players but nothing transpired.

Things had looked positive for Los Millionarios when they took a fifth minute lead through Pavone who held off his marker and rifled into the bottom corner.

Belgrano thought they had took the lead before Pavone’s opening but it was ruled out for offside. They did strike in the second half to silence the 57,921 fans inside El Monumental de Nunez. A terrible mix-up in River defence allowed Guillermo Farre to drill under the River keeper Juan Pablo Carrizo.

The home side tried desperaterly to get back infront and they had the perfect opportunity when they awarded a 66th minute penalty. But the chance was spurned by Pavone who’s low shot was easily saved by Belgrano keeper Juan Carlos Olave.

With that the game slipped away from River and their fate was sealed when the fans entered the field of play. The 33 times Argetinian champions were relegated for the first time in their illustrius history. Stars such as Erik Lamela, Rogelio Funes Mori

Belgrano return to the top flight for the first time since 2006.

UPDATE It has emerged that one River fan has died as the result of a heart attck after riots in the stadium. At least 65 spectators were injured, including 25 police officers who were taken to hospital with multiple injuries – two with suspected fractured skulls. There were 50 arrests.

This is certainly a sad day for not just River Plate but Argentina as well. The Copa America will take place in just five days time. El Monumental was also due to host the final on July 24th.

Advertisements