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River Plate return to Argentine top flight
Published : 23 Jun 2012 23:47:27Rss feed
Legendary Argentine club River Plate returned to the Argentine first division on Saturday, a year after they were relegated for the first time in their illustrious history.
Former French international striker David Trezeguet scored in the 49th and 89th minutes as River Plate defeated Almirante Brown 2-0.
Twelve months ago, River Plate were relegated from the country's top division for the first time in their 110-year history, amid tears and scenes of violent mayhem.
The Buenos Aires team are Argentina's most successful club with 33 championships to their name, and their rivalry with Boca Juniors, based in the same city, is one of the most intense in all sport.
"We suffered until today's match but we have put River Plate back in the place where they must be," said coach Matias Almeyda, who broke down in tears at the final whistle where he was embraced by loyal assistant Gabriel Amato.
"Today is the end of the difficult time that we and the River fans have experienced. Thanks to the fans who were with us all the time, for their patience."
After the game, Almeyda was carried shoulder high by his players who all donned shirts bearing the legend "23-J -- The Resurrection."
River Plate president Daniel Passarella, the former national team coach and World Cup winning skipper, was overjoyed by the victory.
"We have woken from a nightmare," he said.
On Saturday, 50,000 fans packed into River Plate's Estadio Monumental and they almost saw Trezequet celebrate a hat-trick but the French striker had an 84th-minute penalty saved by Cesar Monasterio in the Almirante goal.
Trezeguet finished the season with 13 goals since his move to the club known as 'The Millionaires' in January from Baniyas in the United Arab Emirates.
The three points gave River Plate the second division title as they finished on 73 points, one ahead of Quilmes and three in front of Instituto.
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