Velez Sarsfield (4) 4 – 0 (0) Argentinos Juniors
Velez Sarsfield booked their place in the Copa Sudamericana round of 16 with an emphatic 4-0 victory over their fellow countrymen Argentinos Juniors in Linears last night.
El Fortin knew a win by any margin would be enough after earning a goalless draw in the first leg and their in-form striker Guillermo Franco set the home side on their way after 23 minutes, nodding the ball over the line from close range after Juan Manuel Martinez showed pace and desire before pulling his cross back from the by line.
Augusto Fernandez doubled their lead ten minutes into the second half when Argentinos goalkeeper Luis Ojeda was only able to parry his powerful shot into the corner of the of the net, and Martinez made it three from the penalty sport twenty minutes later.
Hector Canteros rounded off the scoring the goal of the night five minutes before the end, expertly curling his shot past Ojeda from the edge of the penalty area.
“We needed a performance like that,” said Fernandez. “We knew it was important, more so in this game because there was no margin for error.”
“It was important to win,” said coach Ricardo Gareca. “We showed some interesting things but they’re still some things to work on.”
Universidad Catolica 2-1 Deportes Iquique
Universidad Catolica took one step towards a round of 16 clash with Velez last night by getting the better of Deportes Iquique in the first leg of the only all-Chilean clash of the round.
Catolica started much the better side and twice went close in the opening stages. Felipe Gutierrez smashed the visitors’ bar with a curling free-kick just 12 minutes in before Francisco Pizarro forced a smart stop out of Cristian Limenza in the Iquique goal two minutes later.
The hosts hit the woodwork for a second time before finally taking the lead through Milovan Mirosevic when the 31 year-old traded passes with Rodrigo Valenzuela before sending his header underneath Limenza.
Enzo Andia made it two shortly after the half-time when his flicked header squeezed through a crowded a penalty box to find the far corner of Limenza’s net.
With Catolica looking increasingly likely to put the tie beyond the visitors, it seemed only a matter of time before they claimed a third, however, at the second time od asking, Michael Rios shocked the hosts by smashing in what could prove a vital goal for Iquique.
“We won the game and that’s important,” said Catolica coach Mario Lepe. "We deserved a couple more goals… but I’m happy because we played well and created lots of chances to score.”