Independiente del Valle are set to continue their fairy tale Copa Libertadores run after securing victory against Pumas UNAM on penalties on Tuesday night.
The hosts opened the scoring after 16 minutes when Pumas midfielder Hibert Ruiz’s through ball was fired home by Ismael Sosa.
Sosa doubled his tally two minuets later through a powerful right-footed effort that found the bottom right corner.
In the 56th minute, Luis Ayala was shown a red card for a tackle on Sosa, but it could not stop the visitors from forcing the game to go to penalties.
Junior Sornoza beat Alejandro “Pikolin” Palacios from a free kick, as the Ecuadorian side held on all the way to the shootout.
On the penalty shootout, Independiente del Valle were perfect, while Ismael Sosa’s penalty was denied by Librado Azcona to guide his team to a historic semifinal appearance.
Independiente del Valle will now take on Boca Juniors for a spot in the Copa Libertadores Final.
Independiente del Valle grabbed the initiative as the Ecuadorian side escaped with a 2-1 victory over Pumas UNAM in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores quarterfinal clash.
After knocking out defending champions River Plate, it was no surprise to see Independiente del Valle start brightest, with Junior Sornoza and Jose Angulo posing a threat going forward.
Their breakthrough, however, didn’t arrive until the 43rd minute when Angulo picked up a neat cross from Sornoza and drilled his shot past Alejandro “Pikolin” Palacios to give his side the lead.
Ten minutes after the break, it went from bad to worse for the Universitarios as Angulo headed home a second to give Independiente del Valle full control of this tie.
But Pumas soon got a grip of the game and second half substitute Fidel Martinez began exploiting gaps in the Independiente defense.
In the 73rd minute, it was Fidel Martinez who scored for the Universitarios. Ismael Sosa flashed a cross forward for Matias Britos, who laid the ball for Martinez to drill past Librado Azcona and pull Pumas within one.
Independiente del Valle had a goal disallowed correctly and Luis Fuentes tried his luck from distance in the closing stages of the match, as Pumas UNAM earned a vital away goal in Ecuador.
Both sides will meet again next week in Mexico City with the Universitarios needing to score to have any chance of progressing to the next round of the Copa Libertadores.
Despite a 3-1 win over São Paulo, Toluca crashed out of the Copa Libertadores with a 5-3 aggregate scoreline at the Estadio Nemesio Diez on Wednesday.
Fernando Uribe’s opening goal was cancelled out early in the second half by Michel Bastos, but Enrique Triverio and a second Uribe goal ensured the Diablos Rojos were eliminated honorably.
The win means São Paulo will face the winner of Racing and Atletico Mineiro in the quarterfinals of the competition.
Meanwhile, having already been eliminated from Liga MX Liguilla contention, coach Jose Saturnino Cardozo has announced his exit in front of the Diablos Rojos.
Pumas UNAM kept their Copa Libertadores dream alive with a 2-0 win over Deportivo Tachira which sealed the Universitarios their first quarterfinal appearance in their history.
Deportivo Tachira had the first chance of the game in the seventh minute when a Yuber Mosquera header forced Alejandro “Pikolin” Palacios off his line to make a great save.
The next big chance came at the other end, though, and it was Eduardo Herrera who provided a headed finish to a an Ismael Sosa cross to level the aggregate score.
In the second half, Jose Contreras was the busier of the two goalkeepers, denying Fidel Martinez and Ismael Sosa as the hosts displayed more confidence on the ball.
But the score stood still until the 81st minute when Herrera and Sosa combined for Pumas’ second. Herrera gathered inside the box and laid the ball off for Sosa, who with a first-time finish finally got through Contreras to seal a historic win for the Universitarios.
Next for Guillermo Vazquez’s side is a quarterfinal clash against the winner of River Plate vs. Independiente del Valle, but first they must take on Club America in the Clasico Capitalino as they search the final Liguilla spot available in Liga MX.
São Paulo boosted their chances of reaching the quarterfinals of the Copa Libertadores by thrashing Toluca 4-0 at the Estadio Morumbi on Thursday night.
Michel Bastos put a superior São Paulo side in front at the 27 minute mark when he fired home a bouncing cross inside the box.
A hapless Diablos Rojos then conceded a second at the stroke of halftime after Ricardo Centurion weaved his way into the box before smashing in the 2-0.
Eight minutes into the second half, São Paulo consolidated their grip on the tie when Thiago Mendes collected a one-two from Ganso to score his side’s third goal of the night.
Centurion again proved he was unaffected by the absence of his attacking partner Jonathan Calleri, who was suspended for this match, by scoring a second following scramble inside the box.
The night went from bad to worse for the Diablos Rojos as 18-year-old Ernesto Alexis Vega was sent off for a harsh tackle at the end of the game.
With the result, Toluca will host the second leg next week at the Estadio Nemesio Diez needing to score four goals to have any hope of reaching the next round of the Copa Libertadores.