River Plate Relegated From Argentine Primera After 3-1 Playoff Loss To Belgrano

Improbably, River Plate, one of the two biggest clubs in Argentinian football, have been relegated from the Argentine Primera A after losing a promotion-relegation playoff with Belgrano by an aggregate score of 3-1. River will now be sent down to the second division in Argentina, while Belgrano will be promoted to the first division.

Belgrano won the first leg of the home and away tie in mid-week, sounding alarm bells in Buenos Aires, but most believed that Los Millionairos would be able to get the result they needed to stay up at home at the Monumental. It appeared that way early in the second leg, as Mariano Pavone scored a goal in the 5th minute, bringing River Plate back within one. They completely dominated the remainder of the first half, but couldn't find a second goal.

Incredibly, the next goal would be scored by Belgrano, sending the River Plate players and supporters into shock. Guillermo Farré was the man who stunned the Monumental, scoring in the 61st minute to put River down by two yet again.

Less than 10 minutes later it appeared that Los Millionairos were going to bet back into the game when they were granted a penalty, but their goal scorer Pavone hit a soft dribbler down the middle that was easily saved by Juan Carlos Olave.

The entire rest of the game was played in Belgrano's half, but River couldn't score another goal...and they needed two. Despite River's dominance at the Monumental, you would be hard-pressed to find a neutral who thought Belgrano's victory wasn't deserved, as they showed incredible heart over the 180 minute tie. They will be playing in the first division next season, while one of the biggest clubs in all of world football sits in the second tier.

Not surprisingly, a pocket of River fans were not able to accept their team's fate with class and dignity, as they rioted before the final whistle blew to cause a long delay in the game. The police tried to restore order but were unsuccessful. The delay started very close to the end of 90 minutes and the riots were uncontrollable, so the referee called an end to the match after a 5 minute delay. The tie ended with a final score of 3-1 in favor of Belgrano, and River are officially a second division team.

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