Saturday was an UNBELIEVABLE day in Argentinean football. Historic day, with 5 games played at the same time and scores and situations changing minute by minute.
And also historic, because for the first time ever River will play a promotion playoff and is in danger of relegating. This had been talked all season, but nobody imagined it would happen...and it finally did !
Olimpo's unlikely (and very lucky) win, combined with River's defeat put one of the biggest teams of this league (or the biggest depending who you ask) in a situation they've never been into.
On Wednesday (at 9pm) they will play the 1st leg, against Belgrano de Cordoba (4th placed team of Nacional B), a big team from the Cordoba province with many fans and good history in 1st division.
The promotion playoffs are played in 2 legs (2nd one will be on Sunday), with the first leg played at the 2nd division team's stadium.
If after both games the teams are tied in points and goal difference (both draws or both win by the same difference), each teams stays in their own division (there is NO away goal rule).
But if this wasn't dramatic enough, the relegation games had their own big drama as well.
Quilmes finally missed the miracle they were looking for and will play next season in 2nd division, and the unbelievable came in the other games.
Gimnasia was leading comfortably against Boca (first 2-0 and then 2-1 before HT) and was qualifying to the promotion playoffs, while Huracan was destroyed by Independiente with a terrible 5-1.
The game ended and Huracan fans and many players were literally crying because they were relegated, but in that same moment some miraculous news came : Boca scored the 2-2 in the last second of the game, and this put Gimnasia in a tie with Huracan so they will have to play a game in neutral ground (on Tuesday at 2.30pm at Boca stadium) where the loser will be relegated and the winner will play the promotion playoffs against San Martin de San Juan, a not so big team but also a tough one.
So, to resume :
* Quilmes is relegated to Nacional B
* River - Belgrano is one of the promotion playoffs, 1st leg at Belgrano on Wednesday at 9pm, 2nd leg at Buenos Aires on Sunday (KO time to be determined)
* Gimnasia and Huracan will play a game at Boca stadium (Wednesday at 2:30pm). If they are tied after 90 minutes there are 30 minutes of ET and then a penalties shootout if it's stil a draw.
Loser relegates, winner plays promotion playoffs against San Martin de San Juan (3rd placed team of Nacional B). 1st leg will be played next Sunday and 2nd leg on Thursday June 30 (just one day before Copa America starts)
Also Copa Sudamericana teams have been confirmed : Velez, Estudiantes, Godoy Cruz, Lanus, Arsenal, Argentinos Juniors and Independiente (winner of Copa Sudamericana 2010) will be the Argentinean teams in the cup that starts in August.
River ended in 5th place in the season table, but lost his place in Copa Sudamericana because by rule, if a team has to play the promotion playoffs, they can't qualify to an international tournament in the same season.
So...the final numbers of Clausura 2011 :
Round 19 results :
18/6 — Argentinos Juniors 1 – 1 Tigre
18/6 — Gimnasia y Esgrima de La Plata 2 – 2 Boca Juniors
18/6 — Independiente 5 – 1 Huracán
18/6 — Quilmes A.C. 0 – 1 Olimpo de Bahía Blanca
18/6 — River Plate 1 – 2 Lanús
18/6 — Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba 1 - 0 All Boys
19/6 — Arsenal F.C. 1 - 0 Estudiantes de La Plata
19/6 — Newell’s Old Boys 1 - 0 Colón de Santa Fe
19/6 — Banfield 1 - 1 San Lorenzo
19/6 — Vélez Sarsfield 2 - 1 Racing Club
Playoffs / Promotion Playoffs Schedule :
22/6 - 2.30pm - Huracan - Gimnasia (at Boca stadium)
22/6 - 9.00pm - Belgrano de Cordoba - River Plate (1st leg)
26/6 - River Plate - Belgrano de Cordoba (2nd leg)
26/6 - San Martin de San Juan - Gimnasia/Huracan (1st leg)
30/6 - Gimnasia/Huracan - San Martin de San Juan (2nd leg)
FINAL Standings :
Averages Table (http://www.argentinapreviews.com/2010/05/how-are-relegations-decided.html) :
Copa Sudamerica 2011 table ( Top 6 qualify to Copa Sudamericana 2011 + Independiente because they are Sudamericana 2010 champion) :