South American Roundup: River Plate Walk Off in Protest Sporting Cristal's Unbeaten Run Ends

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - River Plate's Uruguayan championship match was abandoned when they walked off the pitch during the first half in protest at what they claimed was unsporting behaviour by opponents Danubio.

Defending champions Union Espanola failed to qualify for the playoff stages of Chile's Clausura championship even though they won 5-4 at Audax Italiano in their final game.

URUGUAY

Furious River Plate walked off the pitch shortly after Danubio scored while goalkeeper Alexis Viera was lying injured on the pitch.

Viera went down during a Danubio attack but play continued and almost immediately Ignacioo Gonzalez put the ball into the empty net with a casual shot from outside the penalty area to give his side a 2-0 lead.

Danubio then won possession from the kickoff and Cristian Stuani who had given them an early lead headed a third as River stood and watched.

River Plate's Pablo Bengoechea ordered his team off the field and after initially hesitating they obeyed.

'I thought the game had stopped and I kicked the ball towards the goal' said Gonzalez. 'It was the referee who should have given the order to stop the game.'

River officials said Danubio should have allowed them to score a goal and that they would demand a replay.

Police had to prevent Penarol fans from invading the pitch after their team beaten 7-2 by Danubio in their previous outing lost 3-0 at Plaza Colonia.

Rino Lucas scored twice to put Colonia in control and Nicolas Martiarena added the third.

Nacional held 0-0 at home by Liverpool lead the first stage of the championship on goal difference from Rocha.

CHILE

Union Espanola's 5-4 win at Audax Italiano was in vain as they failed to make the quarter-finals of the Clausura championship after finishing third in Group Four.

Two goals each from Juan Pablo Ubeda and Manuel Neira and one from Rodrigo Valenzuela put Union 5-1 ahead with nine minutes to play before Audax staged a late fightback scoring three times in the last four minutes.

Humberto Suazo scored a hat-trick for Audax who finished fourth in Group Three and were also knocked out.

Universidad Catolica Colo Colo Universidad de Chile Huachipato Cobresal Universidad de Concepcion and La Serena qualified while Cobreloa and Deportes Concepcion will decide the remaining place in a play-off.

Universidad Catolica completed the first stage unbeaten after thumping La Serena 3-0 with a hat-trick from Luis Ignacio Quinteros winning 15 and drawing four games.

PERU

Sporting Cristal's unbeaten run in the second stage of the championship ended in a 3-0 defeat at Cienciano.

Juan Carlos Bazalar put Cienciano ahead just before halftime. Alessandro Moran and Julio Garcia added two more after the break.

Cristal have 41 points from 18 games and lead Coronel Bolognesi by seven points. Cienciano who won the first stage of the championship are sixth.

COLOMBIA

Deportivo Cali and Pereira lead the semi-final stage groups in the 2005 Finalizacion championship.

Panamanian striker Blas Perez scored two first-half goals as Cali beat Atletico Junior 2-0 while Nestor Salazar's early goal for Pereira gave them a 1-0 win over Real Cartagena.

Cali are three points clear of Atletico Junior in Group A. Pereira have a two-point lead over Santa Fe and Real Cartagena in Group B.

ECUADOR

El Nacional beat Aucas 5-1 to stay top of the Clausura championship's final stage. They have a three-point lead over LDU who beat Barcelona 4-1 in a game which produced three sendings-off -- Peruvian Roberto Palacios (LDU) and Agustin Delgado and Edwin Tenorio (Barcelona).

PARAGUAY

Olimpia's 1-1 draw with Libertad kept them top of the championship's second stage one point ahead of Cerro Porteno who beat Tacuary 2-0.

VENEZUELA

UA Maracaibo went five points clear at the top of the championship's first stage as they won 1-0 at Estudiantes de Merida. Second-placed Deportivo Tachira were beaten 2-1 by Mineros de Guayana thanks to an 89th-minute winner from Jansse Perez.

BOLIVIA

Blooming lead the final stage of the Apertura championship after beating neighbours Oriente Petrolero 1-0 with a goal from Brazilian Dimas da Silva.

Blooming have seven points from three games and overtook La Paz FC who were beaten 2-1 by Bolivar.

Bolivar stayed bottom with one point after FIFA ordered them to have three deducted for a debt with former coach Gustavo Huerta.