Barracas Central were promoted to Argentina's top flight on Tuesday after defeating Quilmes on penalties, after a scoreless draw in a tense play-off.
El Guapo, or Club Atlético Barracas Central to give them their full name, won 5-4 on penalties in the final to claim the last spot in next season’s Liga Profesional de Fútbol.
Around 25,000 spectators filled Racing Club's stadium in Avellaneda for the tense encounter, though the final was a scrappy affair.
Founded in 1904, Barracas Central are one of the oldest clubs in local football, though the side only played in the top division during the amateur era. From the 1940s onwards, they have bounced around the lower divisions, meaning next season will be their first in the top flight during professionalism.
The club is strongly linked to Claudio ‘Chiqui’ Tapia, the head of the Argentine Football Association (AFA), who previously served as the club’s president for 17 years. The position is currently held by Tapia’s son Matias, 25, while another, Iván, is the captain of the first-team squad, who successfully converted a penalty in Tuesday’s shoot-out. The side’s stadium is even named after the AFA chief.
To win promotion, Barracas Central had to finish top of one of the two zones of the Primera Nacional (second division). After a devastating 1-0 loss to Tigre in the play-off final on November 22, the side had to lift itself up for another two rounds of fixtures, first eliminating Almirante Brown and finally Quilmes on penalties on Tuesday.
Barracas Central join Tigre as the newcomers for next season’s 2022 top-flight league campaign, which will see 28 teams competing.
Relegation, which was suspended during the coronavirus pandemic, will return in the next campaign.
Reaction to Barracas' promotion was not welcomed by all supporters. Across social media, '#Murióelfútbol' began trending as fans of other clubs expressed disappointment.
Fans of other clubs allege that referees have favoured Barracas Central due to Tapia and his influence.