Argentina. Unusual system, which was more complicated in the second level – if the First Division was simple, the Second Division had problems inherited from the past. It was not easy to amalgamate the Province of Buenos Aires with the other provinces in the country. Thus, Second Division was practically the old Buenos Aires Second Division, now including some clubs from other provinces. Promotion and relegation were difficult issue, though – it was felt that some strong clubs from other provinces were left out and because of that only the champion of the Second Division was directly promoted to first level. The second promotion was a play-off tournament between 9 Second Division teams (those placed 2nd to 10th in the final table) plus the winners of Primera B Metropolitana and Zonales Noroestre and Sureste from Torneo del Interior. The winner of this tournament was promoted to First Division. As for relegation, three teams went down (to either Primera B Metropolitana or their respective provincial league) and one more club played promotion/relegation play-off against a team from the regional leagues. Two legs were played only if the first leg was tied or won by the regional candidate, the current Second Division member hosting the first the leg. Argentina used strange relegation system for years and continued to do so: it was not according to final positions in the championship, but by separate relegation table which made average of points divided by number of games in the last 3 seasons. This traditional system as a rule of thumb worked against newcomers to the league – unless such a team had very strong season. There was a new rule this season, part of the drive during the 1980s to invigorate the game in Europe with various experiments, but it was employed only in the First Division.
Second Division – Primera B Nacional. 22 teams in it, standard league championship with 2 points for a win. The last three in the relegation table went down and one more team went to promotion/relegation play-off – but why this particular team is unclear. As already mentioned, 2nd to 10th finishers went to promotion play-off plus 3 more teams to contest the second promotion to Primera Division. Violence was increasingly marking football around the world and Argentina was getting quite a bad case of it: in the 3rd round the match between Central Cordoba and Huracan was suspended in the 83rd minute and later was awarded to Huracan. Chacarita Juniors had 3 points deducted for violence acts and Douglas Haig had 2 points deducted for the same.
Chacarita Juniors finished last with 23 points. In the relegation table they were 20th and thus – relegated.
Temperley – 21st with 26 points. 21st in the relegation table too, so relegated. Second row from left: Medina, Capuzzi, Pereyra, Franchini, Bottari, Legaspi. Crouching: Aguilar, Morrudo, Arana, Seco, Azerrad.
Cipolletti – 20th with 28 points. They out of the relegation zone in the relegation table, so they remained in the league.
Tigre – 19th with 30 points.
Estacion Quequen (Necochea) – 18th with 31 points. And the curse of the newcomer… since they were just promoted to Second Division, they had no previous record in the relegation table and had to depend only on this season – which was brave, but still lowly, and thus their average was the worst in the relegation table. They were relegated.
Douglas Haig – 17th with 32 points.
Los Andes – 16th with 33 points. Standing from left: Justo S. Meza, Néstor Ferraresi, Daniel Bolognese, Enrique José Alvarez, Héctor Franchoni.
First row: C. López, Villafañe, Marcos Castro, Daniel A. Godoy (Uruguayan), Marcelo Ibáñez, Orlando Romero.
Quilmes – 15th with 37 points. Back row from left: Jorge Di Gregorio, Javier Orrego, Emilio Kalujerovich, Ricardo Kergaravat, Alejandro Mulet, Guillermo Escalante.
Front: Ronald Baroni, Omar H. Gómez, Mario Gómez, Jorge Raffo, Hugo Neira.
Deportivo Maipu – 14th with 43 points. Here is the mystery… in the relegation table they were 12th. No reason to be in danger of relegation at all, yet, they were the team which went to the promotion/relegation play-off.
Standing from left: Gazzaniga, Lamolla, Funes, Barrios, Franco, Torletti. Front: Corró, Alberto H. Rodríguez, Escobar, Nocelli, Navarro.
Central Cordoba (Santiago del Estero) – 13th with 43 points.
Banfield – 12th with 44 points.
Atletico Tucuman – 11th with 45 points.
Sportivo Italiano – 10th with 46 points. Going to promotion play-offs.
Talleres (Renedios Escalada) – 9th with 48 points. Going to promotion play-offs.
Standing from left: Tomás Quiroga, Jorge Giles, Sergio Zanetti, Osvaldo Biaín, Alfredo Jáuregui, Pastor Ortiz.
First row: Sergio A. Rodríguez, Adalberto Perroud, Mauricio Caminitti, Rubén Rojas, Carlos P. Cardozo.
Defensa y Jisticia – 8th with 49 points. Going to promotion play-offs.
Belgrano – 7th with 50 points. Going to promotion play-offs.
Colon – 6th with 50 points. Going to promotion play-offs.
Huracan – 5th with 51 points. Going to promotion play-offs.
Second row from left: Héctor Cúper, Oscar Garré, Fernando Quiroz, Gabriel Puentedura, Ramón Brítez, Eugenio Gentile.
Crouching: Carlos Taracido, Antonio Mohamed, Ariel Paolorossi, Walter De Felippe, Gustavo R. Montero.
Almirante Brown – 4th with 51 points. Going to promotion play-offs.
Second row from left: César G. Carrizo, Sergio Rechiutti, Raúl Martini, Ricardo Johansen, Víctor H. Zacharski, Marcelo Golinowski.
Front: Gabriel Pastor, Juan J. Rodríguez, Rodolfo Righi, Víctor H. Meriggi, Eduardo Cristaldo.
Union – 3rd with 52 points. Going to promotion play-offs.
Lanus – 2nd with 53 points. Lost top place by a point. Going to promotion play-offs, but with a bit of luck they would have been champions and directly promoted up.
Chaco For Ever – clinched 1st place with 54 points from 21 wins, 12 ties, 9 losses, and 66-44 goal difference. Dramatic victory, no doubt, but well rewarded – not only champions of Second Division, but directly promoted to Primera – a rare achievement.
Back row from left: Raul Oyola, Juan Arguello, Jorge Benitez, Jose Vilche, Felipe Di Marco, Hugo Parrado.
Front: Luis Sosa, Celso Freyre, Jose Villarreal, Luis Diaz, Juan Sotelo.
Relegation play-off: Deportivo Maipu had to meet Gutierrez Sport Club from the Liga Mendocina de futbol. Unheard of club… Deportivo Maipu benefited by the strange rule for this stage: they hosted the opening leg and won the match. It was just 1-0, but the victory was theirs and no second leg was to be played – Deportivo Maipu remained in Primera B Nacional.
Promotion play-offs. Only on the surface the rules were simple: direct elimination cup-style, in two legs. But 12 teams participated… 9 from Primera B and 3 from lower leagues: Villa Dalmine, the champion of Primera B Metropolitana, and the winners of Zonales Noroestre and Sureste from Torneo Interior – Atletico de Rafaela and Olimpo. Not everybody started from the first round, though – 3rd placed in the Second Division championship – Union – started in the second round and the 2nd placed in the league – Lanus – entered at the semifinals.
Atletico Rafaela lost to Huracan 3-5 and 1-2. Top row from left: Fertonani, Marino, Querini, Levrino, Berzero, Alfaro. Front: Giordano, Fuentes, López, Bernasconi, Riberi.
Olimpo (Bahia Blanca) was eliminated by Almirante Brown 2-0 and 1-3. Hard to tell why… they scored away goal.
Standing from left: Mercuri, Torres, Quevedo, Cheiles, Oviedo, Ronco. Crouching: Bustos, Schmidt, Paolucci, Mansilla, Palacio.
Villa Dalmine lost to Colon 0-0 and 1-4.
Standing from left: Barrios, Bustos, Tallarico, Latreite, Genaro, Céliz. Front: Urán, Galván, Bartolucci, Labonia, Acuña.
Sportivo Italiano eliminated Belgrano 0-0 and 1-0.
Talleres (Remedios de Escalada) lost to Defensa y Justicia 0-0 and 1-2.
Second round: Union entered the play-offs now.
Colon eliminated Huracan 1-0 and 2-1.
Defensa y Justicia lost to Almirante Brown 0-2 and 1-2.
Sportivo Italiano lost to Union 1-2 and 2-2.
½ finals: Lanus entered.
Almirante Brown was eliminated by Union 0-2 and 0-3.
Lanus eliminated Colon 2-0 and 1-1. Well… they did not – for whatever reason Colon went to the final.
So unlucky… leading at half-season, but lost the title at the end by single point. They won the promotion ½ final against Colon and yet the losers went to the final… unless Lanus was punished for some infractions, there was no reason the winning team to be eliminated.
Final: Colon vs Union. Both teams played top league football before and were eager to climb back to it. Colon had no right to be at the final, so some kind of justice required their opponents to win… and they did: Union won both legs 2-0 and 1-0.
Union (Santa Fe) won the promotion play-offs – or Torneo Reducido – and got promoted. A nice return to top flight.
It was nice for Union (Santa Fe) to earn promotion, but still the champions of Second Division were the best team – once again, Chaco For Ever. Second row from left: Di Marco, Valdéz, Freyre, Ferlatti, Sperandío, Parrado. First row: Cravero, Noremberg, Alfredo Fernández, Luis Sosa, Rosas.
Champions and directly promoted! What a thrill!