CONMEBOL Sudamericana returns this week with three ties, highlighted by all-Argentine clash

After an extended break for the 2019 Copa America, the CONMEBOL Sudamericana returns this week as the Round of 16 kicks off with a trio of first legs.

Tonight in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Royal Pari of Bolivia host Colombian outfit La Equidad, while tomorrow in Caracas, Caracas FC host 2016 Libertadores runners-up Independiente del Valle. Then on Thursday in Santa Fe, it will be an all-Argentine clash between Colón and Argentinos Juniors. 

Royal Pari-La Equidad

This week’s action gets underway tonight in Santa Cruz de la Sierra as Royal Pari play host to La Equidad. The Bolivians haven’t been short on excitement so far this competition, defeating Monagas on penalties in the first round after the tie finished 3-3 on aggregate. In the second round, a stoppage time goal in the second leg from José Luis Chávez levelled the tie 3-3 on aggregate and sent Royal Pari through on away goals. Colombian forward John Jairo Mosquera has scored a pair of goals so far this competition, and will be one to watch in the Round of 16. 

Colombian side La Equidad are the only Colombian outfit left in continental competition, having reached the Round of 16 via a pair of wins over Paraguayan opposition. In the First Round against Independiente F.B.C, 180 minutes of 0-0 football sent the tie to penalties, where a dramatic shootout went the way of La Equidad: 

A much more conventional 4-1 aggregate win against Deportivo Santaní followed in the Second Round, with Hansel Zapata and Carlos Peralta each scoring in both legs. 

Caracas-Independiente del Valle

On Wednesday in the Venezuelan capital, Caracs FC will take on Independiente del Valle. The Venezuelans dropped into the Sudamericana following elimination from the CONMEBOL Libertadores during the play-off round. In the Second Round of the Sudamericana, Caracas defeated Liverpool of Uruguay 2-1 on aggregate, with a pair of second half goals in the second leg the difference.

Independiente del Valle haven’t struggled to find the back of the net so far this Sudamericana, a trend they hope to continue in Caracas on Wednesday. Against Unión in the First Round, the Ecuadorians rallied to win the second leg 2-0 to force penalties, where they eventually advanced.

Then in the Second Round, IDV hung 5 on Universidad Católica of Chile in the first leg before cruising to a 7-3 aggregate win. IDV are known for developing promising young talent and this side is no different, watch out for the Ecuadorian Alejandro Cabeza and the Colombian Cristian Dájome on Wednesday.

Colón-Argentinos Juniors

This week’s action will wrap up on Thursday with an intriguing tie featuring a pair of Argentine sides as Colón host Argentinos Juniors.

Colón thrashed Deportivo Municipal of Peru 5-0 in the First Round with Tomás Sandoval scoring twice in the return leg to seal the tie. Against River Plate of Uruguay in the Second Round, Colón fell behind early in the second leg after a 0-0 draw in Montevideo, but rallied quickly to win the match 3-1 and go through.

Argentinos Juniors meanwhile eliminated Estudiantes de Mérida of Venezuela 2-1 in the First Round before knocking out Deportes Tolima 1-0 on aggregate in the Second Round, with Carlos Quintana’s first leg second half stoppage time goal the difference in the tie

All three ties will see the return legs played next week.