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By ESPN Staff

River match abandoned after crowd violence

BUENOS AIRES, May 14 (Reuters) - Rioting fans forced River Plate's match away to Quilmes to be abandoned in the second half in a sad end to the Argentine season on Sunday.

Referee Gabriel Favale suspended the Clausura championship game in the 68th minute as fans clashed with police in the stands and hurled assorted missiles, including stones and fireworks, on to the pitch.

Favale waited for ten minutes before calling the game off with River leading 3-1.

It was the third game in the Clausura championship to be abandoned because of crowd trouble following Banfield's game at Independiente and Boca Juniors' match away to Velez Sarsfield.

It was also the second time in ten days that River had witnessed trouble at their games, although on both occasions it was rival fans who caused the incidents.

Ten days ago, their Libertadores Cup tie away to Corinthians in Sao Paulo was called off in the 83rd minute when the Brazilian fans attempted to invade the pitch in protest at their own team's poor display.

River were also 3-1 ahead in the third-round, second-leg tie and won 6-3 on aggregate.

The game was only of academic interest as Boca Juniors had already won the the week before and River had made sure of a place in next year's Libertadores Cup.

Quilmes, 17th in the table, went ahead with a Silvio Carrario penalty after 10 minutes.

But River hit back with three goals in 13 minutes before halftime including two from midfielder Marcelo Gallardo.

Gallardo headed the equaliser and put River in front with a deflected shot before defender Daniel Gerlo made it 3-1.

Boca, who also won the Apertura championship in the first half of the season, celebrated their title with a 2-0 win over Olimpo.

Gimnasia-La Plata and Banfield were the other teams to qualify for the Libertadores after finishing third and fourth in the overall standings which combine the Apertura and Clausura championships.

Uruguayan striker Gonzalo Vargas finished as the Clausura's topscorer with a tally of 12 for Gimnasia-La Plata.

Instituto and Tiro Federal, both based in Cordoba, went down after finishing bottom of the relegation standings which are taken over the last three seasons.