June 19, 2013
Relegation ghosts revived at River Plate
River Plate lost 1-0 against Racing at the Monumental stadium yesterday and fell to the relegation zone for the first time since they were promoted to the First Division. Defender Matías Cahais scored the winning goal with a header in the 69th minute.
So early in River Plate’s return to the First Division, the ghost of relegation again hung over the Monumental stadium after yesterday’s shock 1-0 home defeat by Racing Club.
River dominated most of the match and striker David Trezeguet was just wide with two good chances but they were let down by poor defending at a set piece, a regular weakness in coach Matías Almeyda’s team.
With 20 minutes remaining, Racing won a free kick on the right and left back Matías Cahais ghosted into the middle unmarked to head the ball into the net from close to the penalty spot.
Before the goal, Uruguayan substitute Rodrigo Mora headed River’s best chance with goalkeeper Sebastián Saja making a superb diving save to deny the home side.
Racing, defensive from the start with no goal chances in the first half, owed their greater penetration in the second to the introduction of substitute Mauro Camoranesi in midfield.
No matter that the season does not end until June, relegation quickly becomes a serious issue for many teams due to the points averages in the league’s convoluted system.
River, having just won promotion, are at a disadvantage and their total points this season must exceed the average points of most of the teams calculated over the last three seasons.
After two successive defeats and five matches without victory, River’s average of 1.125 points from eight matches leaves them one from the bottom of the relegation table.
River, one of Argentina’s “Big Five” clubs with a record 33 league titles, were relegated for the first time in June 2011 when they lost a playoff against then-second division side Belgrano, prompting rioting from fans.
Also yesterday, Boca Juniors lost 2-0 against Lanús at the Néstor Díaz Pérez stadium and lost the top spot in the standings.
Midfielders Mario Regueiro and Diego Valeri scored for Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s team.
Newell’s Old Boys reached the top of the standings after a 2-1 victory over Colón at the Brigadier General Estanislao López stadium in Santa Fe.
Striker Ignacio Scocco put the visitors ahead in the 12th and defender Marcos Cáceres doubled the difference in the 61st. Midfielder Lucas Mugni pulled one back for Colón in the 71st.
In another match yesterday, San Martín of San Juan thrashed Quilmes 4-0 at the Hilario Sánchez stadium and escaped from the relegation zone for the first time in the season.
Herald staff with agencies
EIGHTH ROUND RESULTS — On Sunday: Lanús 2 Boca Juniors 0; Colón 1 Newell’s Old Boys 2; River Plate 0 Racing Club 1; San Martín (SJ) 4 Quilmes 0. On Saturday: Independiente 1 All Boys 1; Argentinos Juniors 3 Unión 3; San Lorenzo 1 Vélez Sársfield 2. On Friday: Belgrano 1 Godoy Cruz 0; Atlético Rafaela 3 Tigre 0.
Today at 5.10pm: Estudiantes v Arsenal.
NEXT ROUND — On Friday at 9.15pm: Quilmes v Belgrano. On Saturday at 2pm: All Boys v Lanús. At 4.10pm: Godoy Cruz v Estudiantes. At 6.15pm: Rafaela v Argentinos. At 8.20pm: Racing v San Lorenzo. On Sunday at 3.10pm: Boca v San Martín. At 5.15pm: Tigre v Newell’s; Unión v Independiente. At 7.30pm: Arsenal v River. On Monday at 7.15pm: Vélez v Colón.
LEADING GOALSCORERS: 6 — I. Scocco (Newell’s). 5 — I. Borghello (All Boys). 4 — D. Ramírez (Godoy Cruz). 3 — L. Viatri (Boca); S. Silva (Boca); C. Carranza (Belgrano); L. Vietto (Racing); M. Cauteruccio (Quilmes); M. Figueroa (Argentinos); D. Ftacla (Tigre); R. Funes Mori (River).
RELEGATION AVERAGE: Quilmes 1.250; San Lorenzo 1.190; San Martín (SJ) 1.173; Unión 1.152; River 1.125; Independiente 1.119.