River Plate relegated

26 June 2011 10:30

River Plate, the most successful club in Argentinian football, were on Sunday relegated for the first time in their history.

The Buenos Aires giants went into their relegation/promotion play-off against National B side Belgrano needing to overturn a 2-0 first leg deficit but fell short, drawing the return at a sold-out Monumental 1-1.

It started promisingly for River when they went ahead through Mariano Pavano after just six minutes, but they failed to build on it and Guillermo Farre equalised 17 minutes into the second half.

The home side had the chance to restore their advantage midway through the second half but Pavone saw a penalty superbly saved by visiting keeper Juan Olave.

River, who won the last of their 33 Argentinian titles in the second half of the 2007-08 season, sunk into a play-off after a dismal end to the Clausura campaign meant their three-season points average required them to beat Belgrano to preserve the top-flight status they have enjoyed for the entirety of their 110-year existence.

But a 2-0 defeat on Wednesday night in the first leg in Cordoba prompted angry demonstrations from supporters and the home fans had already started to express their anger when the referee decided to blow for full-time with 30 seconds still scheduled to play.

Objects were thrown onto the field, while some fans battled with riot police.

Source: PA