Estudiantes de La Plata took a big step towards the semifinals of the Copa Sudamericana after what ended up being a comfortable 2-0 victory over Brazil's Botafogo on Tuesday.

The home side, which hasn't improved a great deal since Leonardo Astrada took over the coaching job from Nestor Sensini, suffered a great deal in the first half, particularly with Agustin Alayes's sending-off in the 18th minute.

But after the break, Estudiantes took advantage of their clear superiority, and they took a well deserved lead in the 56th minute, when Mauro Boselli slotted the ball in at the back post.

Estudiantes continued to dominate their opponents after going ahead, and they doubled their lead in the 62nd minute with a wonder-strike from the ever-present Juan Sebastian Veron.

The Estudiantes captain blasted the ball into the back of the Botafogo net from long-range to the delight of the strong 35,000 home crowd at the Cuidad de La Plata stadium.

In the 64th minute, Tulio reduced Botafogo to 10 men as well, and Estudiantes had their chances to win the match by a much greater difference.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.