River Plate On The Brink Of Relegation

Fans invaded the pitch and confronted players as Belgrano defeated River Plate 2-0 in the first leg of their relegation playoff - a result that put Argentina's most successful club on the brink of a humiliating relegation.

The match was interrupted for around 20 minutes after River went two goals behind, early in the second half. Some of their fans broke a hole in the perimeter fence and stormed onto the pitch in the city of Cordoba. The fans remonstrated with their own team's players, demanding more effort from them, before being ejected and order was gradually restored.

The return match is scheduled for Sunday at River's Monumental stadium. The likelihood of violence is high, with River Plate facing relegation to the second division for the first time in its history. The Argentine Football Association will likely consider playing the second leg in an empty stadium; a blow to a team that would be counting on the support of its fans to overcome the 2-0 deficit in one of the club's most important games in its 110-year history.

River has won the Argentine first division title 33 times - more than any club - and relegation had been regarded as unthinkable for the Buenos Aires giants.

Related Article:
The Mighty River Plate Are Facing Relegation

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