Last-second penalty triggers player riot in Copa Libertadores

Thursday night’s Copa Libertadores match between Independiente del Valle and San Lorenzo ended on an ugly note when riot police had to rush the pitch to stop players from attacking the referee.

The commotion was sparked when a last-second penalty was awarded to Ecuadorian side Independiente. The Argentinian visitors San Lorenzo were clinging to a 1-0 lead. Once Junior Sornoza converted from the spot for an improbable, last-gasp point, the livid San Lorenzo players swarmed around the match officials, forcing riot police into action.

The impact of the penalty decision can’t be understated. Due to the late equalizer, the two sides now both sit on five points in their Copa Libertadores group, with just one match-day remaining. A win would have given San Lorenzo a good chance to advance to the next round, but the draw kept them behind Independiente in last place.

H/T Pies


Angry fans throw chairs at club chairman (no pun intended but intended)

Getting relegated always makes for an uncomfortable next press conference. When it happens to be the first relegation in the club’s 108-year history - in the soccer hotbed of Argentina, no less - it’s downright a nightmare.

Club Atletico Independiente president Javier Cantero can vouch for that first hand after his team dropped from Argentina’s top flight for the first time since its founding in 1904.

Cantero’s season-ending press conference was suddenly interrupted by a mob of angry fans who began flinging chairs at Cantero and any poor soul with him on stage. With the mob calling for his head (his resignation), Cantero was forced to flee the scene.

Next time, maybe send your spokesman out there instead?

(H/T Deadspin)

-Thomas Hautmann (@HautmannOnFOX)


Racing fans order players to lose so rival team can suffer relegation


What’s the biggest soccer rivalry in the world? The Manchester Derby? Liverpool and Everton? Inter vs. Milan? Roma and Lazio? Hands up those who said Racing Club and Independiente over in Argentina.

Fans of Racing Club issued this flyer ahead of their match against relegation-threatened Quilmes, which reads: “Players! Lose or rot in hell!”

This obviously begs the question, why would they so vehemently ask that of their players? Well, Racing’s main rival, Independiente, are also battling relegation, and there is just a tad bit of history between the three clubs:

Back in 1983, Independiente played Quilmes with the roles reversed and Racing Club facing the drop. Independiente are still widely believed to have accepted defeat top Quilmes to help send their bitter rivals down.

Well, now the boots on the other foot. Will Racing’s players satisfy their fans’ thirst for revenge?