River Plate will finish bottom of the 2008 Torneo Apertura when the final standings are drawn up following Sunday’s matches. Only once in the history of the short championships has a team gone from top to bottom in the space of six months – Newell’s did it in 1992 – but River now join that illustrious group as the worst campaign in their history comes to a close. A 1-1 draw with Estudiantes in La Plata was enough to ensure that, whatever Colón do tomorrow, the outgoing champions have relinquished their crown in the most spectacular fashion possible. Elsewhere, there was a very happy homecoming for Huracán…
River actually took the lead in La Plata after a boring first half gave way to a more interesting second. Eduardo Tuzzio headed in ten minutes after the break but, in spite of not capitulating completely thereafter, River still couldn’t get the win. Mauro Boselli equalised fourteen minutes later and Estudiantes went in search of the win that would strengthen their claim for a Copa Libertadores place.
Midway through the first half, Paulo Ferrari forgot he was a full back and found the ball at his feet near the penalty spot, but Mariano Andújar in the Estudiantes goal saved comfortably and the chance was gone. The Tuzzio header in the second half was practically all River created otherwise. Juan Sebastián Verón ended an excellent year on a sour note when, frustrated by the marking job he got from Martín Galmarini, he aimed a headbutt at his opposite number and was sent off. The 1-1 final score left an equally sour taste in both sides’ mouths, though.
Huracán finally returned to the Tomás A. Ducó after 438 days waiting, and celebrated in style, demolishing Vélez 3-0. Matías De Federico and César González gave them a 2-0 half-time lead, which was built on three minutes after the restart by Javier Pastore. It was Angel Cappa’s first win in charge of El Globo prior to the match against Rosario Central in mid-November, and ends a run of five matches without victory.