San Lorenzo de Almagro 1-1 River Plate (lost footage of Argentine Primera División football match; 1951)

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José Maravilla's attempt to reach the ball is blocked by a River Plate defender.

Status: Lost

On 18th November 1951, San Lorenzo de Almagro hosted River Plate for an Argentine Primera División football match at the Estadio Gasómetro. The encounter was the first football match to receive television coverage in Argentina.


Heading into the match, San Lorenzo de Almagro were in the mid-table, while River Plate was battling Banfield and Racing Club for a Championship playoff spot.[1][2] The game was the second-to-last within the Primera División calendar.[3][4][1] Meanwhile, Argentina had recently launched its television service, with the Day of Peronist Loyalty celebrations within the Plaza de Mayo being broadcast on 17th October 1951 by LR3 Radio Belgrano TV.[5][6][1][3] Having received sponsorship by petroleum company Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales, LR3 was now interested in airing a football match within the country for the first time.[6][5][3][1]

The project was conducted under the direction of Jaime Yankelevich, who was also tasked with launching television broadcasts in Argentina, and who had promised to establish a network consisting of thirty broadcasters.[6][5][1] Thus, a portable transmitter was sent to the Estadio Gasómetro, while three cameras were present within the Stadium much to the intrigue of fans present.[1][5][3][6] Ernesto Veltri was the match reporter, while Enzo Ardigó and Raúl Goro provided commentary.[1][5][3]

The Match

The match itself occurred on 18th November, in front of around 70,000 fans in-attendance, and around 1,300 viewers at home.[1][7] It would only take ten minutes before the first televised goal in Argentine football occurred, thanks to a header from San Lorenzo's José Maravilla.[5][3][1][7] It appeared that River Plate's Hector Ferrari had cleared the ball from the line, but a linesman convinced referee Bert Cross that it was a goal.[5][1] In the second half however, River Plate were awarded a penalty.[5][3][1] Santiago Vernazza converted it to level the score, with the match ultimately ending in a 1-1 draw.[5][3][1][6][7] Years later, Maravilla revealed in an interview with El Gráfico that he initially had no idea his goal was the first shown on Argentina television, stating "I don't remember seeing any cameras; is that there were so many people... At that time it was just another game. Years later, talking to Amadeo, we found out that this had been the first goal seen by TV."[1]

Ultimately, San Lorenzo finished seventh out of 17 clubs with 35 points.[2][1] Meanwhile, River Plate narrowly missed out on the Championship playoff, accumulating 43 points as opposed to Banfield and Racing Club's 44.[2][1] Nevertheless, the broadcast proved successful, inspiring three more football matches to be aired that same year.[5][1] These included Racing's game against Lanús on 24th November, as well as its two Championship playoff matches with Banfield.[5][1]


Ultimately, the match was televised live in a period where telerecordings were rare until videotape was perfected in the late-1950s.[8] The broadcast has yet to resurface, though some photos can be found online.[1]



See Also