Argentina's River Plate lose historic relegation fight

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One of the great clubs of South American football, River Plate, have been relegated from the Argentine first division for the first time in their 110-year history.

River needed to win by two clear goals to escape dropping to the country's "B" league.

But the team managed only a 1-1 draw against Belgrano de Cordoba.

The match, held in River's stadium in Buenos Aires, had to be abandoned in the final minute, amid chaotic scenes.

Police fired water cannon up into the stands, following a pitch invasion by furious River fans.

And they had to escort players from both teams from the field, as home supporters hurled a barrage of objects over the perimeter fence.

The violence continued after the game, with clashes outside the stadium between hardcore fans and helmeted riot police, as helicopters hovered overhead.

More than 2,000 police had been deployed before the game in an unparalleled security operation for a club game.

Medical sources report that at least 25 people have been injured.

The game itself was a fiercely fought contest.

River had gone 1-0 up within the first five minutes.

But they saw their lead slip in the second half, after a well-taken Belgrano goal.

Then the man who had scored River's goal, Mariano Pavone, had a penalty saved, to the stunned reaction of more than 50,000 home fans.

And that effectively sealed their fate.

By the end of the game, some of their players were in tears.

River, which has won more domestic titles than any other club, was one of only three never to have dropped out of the first division.

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its more than just demotion..

u shouldve seen the match..

the players were crying like they lost some loved one or something :p

it was pretty sad actually.

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I know football is serious business, but this is a bit too much for a simple demotion

That's no simple demotion. It's River Plate, a legendary team.

Had a question on an itbox a few months back where River Plate was the answer. :)

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Argentinian football fans put some of the top UK firms to shame. Almost every club has a "barra brava" that is considered dangerous by the authorities. They will probably burn the city to the ground, kill the team and bathe in their blood if not stopped by the police.

Also, I guess the Supercl?ssico 2012 is off. :rofl:

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