Racing end five-year wait to beat Independiente

BUENOS AIRES - Racing Club ended more than five years of hurt when they beat arch-rivals Independiente 2-0 for their first victory in 12 attempts in the Avellaneda derby, Argentina's second biggest "clasico", on Saturday.

Goals at the end of each half from strikers Gabriel Hauche and Colombian Teofilo Gutierrez ended a run of four matches without victory for Racing and put them two points behind leaders River Plate.

"Racing won well, I have no complaints... unbeaten runs are there to be broken," the Red Devils' coach Antonio Mohamed told reporters.

The Racing faithful, who call their team The Academy, created an electric atmosphere and wall of sound at a packed Cilindro with their constant chanting.

A cloud of thick, light blue fumes that wafted across the pitch from smoke bombs hid the players from view as they came out on the field to the traditional ticker tape welcome.

There was a strong riot police presence inside and outside the stadium, which is a mere 200 metres from the Libertadores de America, home of their hated rivals Independiente, but no trouble.

Independiente were in control for the first half-hour but the closest they came to scoring was from an early corner when central defender Leonel Galeano's glancing header hit the far angle of bar and post.

Racing gradually wrested control of midfield and took the lead in the dying minutes of the half when, in a fast break out of defence, Gutierrez laid the ball off for Hauche to race through and shoot past keeper Fabian Assmann.

At the end of a second half dominated by Racing, Gutierrez ran onto a diagonal pass into the box.

His shot was parried by Assmann but the Colombian headed the rebound over the keeper into the net to end a four-match personal goal drought with his sixth strike of the championship.

Racing left back Lucas Licht was sent off in the final minute.

The last time Gutierrez scored Racing went top after four wins in their opening five matches of the Clausura championship. Since then they had taken only one more point in four matches and were equal on 13 points with Independiente.