Soccer-Argentine referee winded by paper roll thrown from crowd

By Rex Gowar BUENOS AIRES, March 22 (Reuters) - Argentine championship leaders Rosario Central dropped their first points in a 1-1 draw at Atletico Rafaela on Sunday in a match almost suspended after referee German Delfino was hit by a roll of paper thrown from the crowd. Delfino was winded by the blow near the end of the first half but after a six-minute delay allowed the match to go on. "It hit me in the chest and left me breathless. We're going to carry on with the match. The next object that's thrown, I'll suspend the match," Delfino told Futbol Para Todos. It was the second such incident in a month after Tigre coach Gustavo Alfaro was hit by an object thrown from the stands at Central during his team's 2-1 defeat in Rosario. Central had to play their home match against Temperley, a 1-0 win last weekend, behind closed doors as punishment. Defender Juan Eluchans put Rafaela ahead with a 19th-minute penalty but home side midfielder Adrian Bastia was booked for a foul then sent off immediately afterwards for dissent in the 27th. Striker Marco Ruben equalised for Central with a deft backheel from Frano Cervi's cross in the 48th for his sixth goal in as many matches. Central have 16 points from six matches and can be caught at the top if Boca Juniors win at San Martin later on Sunday. Goal difference is not taken into account in Argentina. River Plate ended a run of five draws in all competitions during the past fortnight with a 1-0 home win over Godoy Cruz which had them climb to joint third with 12 points. Colombia striker Teofilo Gutierrez, the 2014 South American player of the year, scored the 22nd-minute winner, redeeming himself for missing a penalty three minutes earlier. Fans had jeered Gutierrez at the Monumental on Thursday after he hit the woodwork three times in a 1-1 Libertadores Cup draw with Juan Aurich of Peru. But they rallied behind the Colombian after his penalty miss. "We needed the crowd's support for the players, it was a good reaction," River coach Marcelo Gallardo told reporters. Godoy Cruz had striker Leandro Fernandez sent off in the 53rd minute for a second booking after pushing defender Ramiro Funes Mori. (Editing by Ian Ransom)