Famous Argentine football giants River Plate were demoted from the top division of the country Sunday for the first time in their 110-year history, along with tears and sights of aggressive turmoil.
As aggression exploded between supporters, Sergio Pezzotta took the tie against Belgrano del Cordoba to a close on 89 minutes, giving Belgrano a 3-1 combined success and a place in history, and in the Primera Division.
The players of Juan Jose Lopez, having brought their memorable club to an unprecedented low on a cold winter afternoon, spent some minutes embracing each other, in tears, before leaving the pitch.
Belgrano de Cordoba left under a hail of missiles from the home crown, as firefighters sprayed water hoses into the stands to try to restore order.
The aggression quickly extended to the streets outside the sports ground, where police used horses and water cannon to manage livid fans, as shown on television footage.
According to the Federal Police, the fight left 68 people injured, 50 arrested, and 15 vehicles damaged. Two officers were “in serious condition with head injuries from being hit by projectiles,” police said.
Around 2,200 police had been deployed for the match.
The 3,000 Belgrano fans who had prepared the trip to the capital were unable to leave the stadium for two hours, and it was one more hour before the River Plate players and staff can do so, under heavy police guide.