Lowly Lanus wins first title ever in Argentina

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/a/argentinasocce3_ap.jpg' class='caption'> Lanus was crowned champion of Argentina's Apertura on Sunday.

Updated: December 04, 2007 11:04 IST
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Buenos Aires:

Lanus was crowned champion of Argentina's Apertura on Sunday amid deafening cheers from fans who celebrated the 92-year-old team's first ever league title.

Lanus had been runner-up three times since the advent of Argentina's professional league in 1931, and Sunday's 1-1 draw against Boca Juniors gave Lanus an unassailable points lead in the standings.

Lanus had 38 points, and second-placed Tigre 34 after 19 games in the 20-team competition. Boca was third with 31.

Jose Sand scored first in the 37th minute with a header, sending Lanus' 3,000 fans in Bombonera into a frenzy, which was minor in comparison to the roar from those watching on a big screen at Lanus' home stadium.

Martin Palermo evened the score in the 67th minute. But three minutes later, Boca's Fabian Vargas was expelled for rough play.

The joyful scene afterward was marred by Boca fans pelting the departing Lanus players with cups and other debris.

"I'm very happy, enjoying the moment. It was a lot of work and it took a lot of courage," Lanus captain and goalkeeper Carlos Bossio said. "We're the champions because we're the best."

In other games on Sunday, Tigre lost 1-0 to Argentinos Juniors on a penalty by Pablo Barzola in the 56th minute, and Independiente drew Velez Sarsfield 1-1.

In its third consecutive defeat since the departure of coach Daniel Passarella, River Plate fell 4-0 against Olimpo de Bahia Blanca on Saturday, finishing 12th overall.

Gustavo Pintos scored in the 10th minute and the rest came in the second half off a header by Javier Paez and goals by Josemir Lujambio and Leandro Gonzalez.

Also, Huracan beat Racing 3-0 in a tense game that saw three expulsions for Gustavo Costas' team and the intervention of police to calm the players and fans.

Racing finished with only eight players on the field: Claudio Lopez was red-carded after 33 minutes and Franco Sosa and Maximiliano Estevez were kicked out in the second half.

Gimnasia de Jujuy lost 1-0 to Newell's Old Boys off a header by Rolando Schiavi in the 63rd minute, and Banfield beat San Lorenzo 1-0 through Colombian player Jairo Patino's score.

Estudiantes beat Colon 2-0, while Rosario Central edged San Martin 3-2, both on Friday.

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