Velez, Fluminense reach Sudamericana quarters
Velez Sarsfield progressed to the quarterfinals of the Copa Sudamericana after fighting from two goals down to force a 2-2 draw against Union Espanola at the Santa Laura stadium in Santiago, Chile.
The Argentine Clausura champions went through 5-4 on aggregate after the two legs. They won 3-2 in Buenos Aires last week.
Union Espanola went into the break two goals to the good after strikes from Jorge Ampuero and Gustavo Canales. The first goal was a low shot and the second a fine header.
The Chileans counted with a good advantage, but Velez slowly crept into the game and within seconds of the restart pulled a goal back through Leandro Caruso. Caruso fired the ball home after good work from Emiliano Papa.
Velez piled heavy pressure on the Union Espanola goal, but no matter how hard it tried couldn't find a second goal.
Ricardo Gareca's side threw everything at the Chileans, and the introduction of last week's hero, Rolando Zarate, added an extra dimension to their already strong attack.
Finally in the 83rd minute Velez was rewarded for its fighting spirit when Caruso took advantage of a defensive error in the Union Espanola back line to force a 2-2 draw, and essentially book Velez's ticket in the next round of the competition.
Fluminense also booked its ticket to the quarterfinals after thrashing Alianza Atletico of Peru 4-1 at Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
The Brazilians got goals from Dario Conca, Alan and Adeilson on two occasions. Marcio Valverde had put the visitors ahead via the penalty spot.
While Fluminense received one red card, the Peruvians had three men sent off, with 30 minutes still left in the second half.
Cerro Porteno progressed to the quarter-finals of the Copa Sudamericana, despite suffering a 3-1 defeat to Goias in Brazil on Thursday. The Paraguayans went through on the away-goals rule after winning 2-0 in Asuncion last week.
Goias started strongly and went ahead right before halftime with a strike from Felipe. The striker met a good ball from Leandro Eusebio and beat Cerro Porteno goalkeeper Diego Barreto with a good finish.
But Goias was reduced to 10 men five minutes later after Everton received a second yellow card. The numerical disadvantage seemed to affect the Brazilians.
After the break the Paraguayans picked up their game, and they drew level through Carlos Ariel Recalde in the 68th minute. It proved to be a vital away goal.
Two minutes later, however, Goias went back into the lead thanks to a brilliant solo effort from Felipe.
Then in the 79th minute Leo Lima met a well-timed cross from Joao Paulo to give the Brazilians a 3-1 advantage. The vocal 16,000 crowd at the Serra Dourada stadium were in full voice after the goal.
Goias threw everything at Cerro Porteno as it searched for a fourth goal that would send it through, but although it came very close it couldn't score again.
Liga de Quito held Lanus to a 1-1 draw in Argentina and progressed to the quarterfinals of the Copa Sudamericana after a 5-1 aggregate victory.
Argentine striker Claudio Bieler put Liga ahead in the 70th minute, but five minutes later Santiago Salcedo drew Lanus level.