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Controversy surrounds Argentine finale :sweeteye: :doh:



BUENOS AIRES, Dec 10 (Reuters)

- Independiente have denied reports that their own supporters are putting pressure on them not to win Sunday's Argentine championship match against leaders Newell's Old Boys, who need a point to clinch the title.

Police have beefed up security at Independiente training sessions after reports that their supporters considered Newell's to be a "friendly" club, who they wanted to win the title.

Interim coach Pedro Monzon promised that the Red Devils, who are 16th in the Apertura championship after a dismal campaign, would try to win the game.


"Anyone who knows Pedro Monzon knows that I never go backwards, always forwards," he told Independiente's official website.

"Independiente always plays to win, and prepares to win, because it's a big and important institution at national and international level. I can't believe there's a supporter who does not want us to win."

Goalkeeper Carlos Navarro Montoya said he did not know anything about demands which were allegedly made by three leaders of the club's organised supporters club.

He told the Clarin newspaper: "Every time a championship is decided, there's too much of this talk. I'm only interested in enjoying my football."

Newell's are three points clear of Velez Sarsfield, who are at home to Arsenal in their last game.

If Velez win and Newell's lose, a playoff match will take place as goal difference is not used to settle the title.

Up to 20,000 Newell's fans are expected to make the 400-km trip from Rosario as the club attempt to win the title for the first time since 1992, when they won the Clausura championship.

Media reports said there was chaos on Thursday as fans queued outside Newell's stadium to buy tickets.

Newell's coach Americo Gallego, a midfielder in Argentina's 1978 World Cup-winning team, is attempting to win the championship with his third different club, having previously led River Plate and Independiente to the title.

 

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After watching Ortega and the wonders he did since he came back to Argentina I say we must give him another chance, he is an awesome player and I think he matured enough to represent our NT in Germany 2006.
 

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You could tell those 19 months off helped him tremendously. It's too bad he couldn't come back to play for the club where he started. But, we'll see what happens. I bet he'd love to play in the Copa for 2005. :hopefull:
 

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Monday, December 13, 2004

Newell's lose match :eek: but win Clausura :smileani:


BUENOS AIRES, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Provincial club Newell's Old Boys won the Argentine Clausura championship on Sunday despite losing 2-0 at Independiente in their final game.
Newell's took the trophy in a dramatic finale after second-placed Velez Sarsfield were held 1-1 at home by Arsenal to finish two points behind.


A Velez win would have sent the championship into a playoff as goal difference is not used to decide the title.

The Newell's fans in the 35,000 crowd erupted with five minutes left and their team 2-0 down when it was announced that Velez's match had finished.

The referee blew for time with one minute still on the clock after fans invaded the pitch to celebrate their club's fifth title and first since 1992.

The team from the city of Rosario finished top with 36 points from 19 games, the lowest total since the current system of so-called short championships - in which two are played per season - was introduced in 1990.

Newell's coach Americo Gallego celebrated his third Argentine championship with different clubs, the Argentina 1978 World Cup midfielder having previously steered River Plate and Independiente to the title.

The club also provided a triumphant return to action for former World Cup forward Ariel Ortega after a 19-month soccer exile following his acrimonious exit from Turkey's Fenerbahce.

Thousands of Newell's fans had made the 400-km trip from Rosario and the stadium in the Buenos Aires suburb of Avellaneda was filled hours before kickoff.

But Independiente, who last week denied reports that their own supporters were putting pressure on them not to win because they considered Newell's friendly rivals and preferred them to Velez for the title, spoiled the party when they went ahead after 10 minutes.

Colombian striker Jairo Castillo, who had missed a chance one minute earlier, made no mistake as he tapped in a chance created by Federico Insua.

Insua added the second himself in the 78th minute when he ran onto a through ball and slipped it past Paraguay goalkeeper Justo Villar.

Ortega had Newell's best effort with a free kick which hit the crossbar in the 15th minute.

Velez were quickly in trouble against Arsenal when goalkeeper Gaston Sessa missed a cross and left Santiago Hirsig to score into an empty net.

They were back in the hunt 10 minutes later when Fabricio Fuentes tapped in a rebound after the ball had hit the crossbar.

The remaining 75 minutes were agonising for Velez supporters as their side struggled to break down Arsenal's notoriously stingy defence. The team coached by 1986 World Cup winner Jorge Burruchaga have scored 17 and conceded 16 goals in the competition.

The closest Velez came was in the 75th minute when Lucas Valdemarin had a shot cleared off the line.
 
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