CONMEBOL Sudamericana Quarterfinal matchups set after week of action

The field is set for the Sudamericana Quarterfinals after another week of action has wrapped up. Zulia, Fluminense, Atlético Mineiro, Corinthians and Independiente joined already qualified Independiente del Valle, Colón and La Equidad at the end of this week’s action.

In Lima on Tuesday, it was Zulia who were looking to defend a 1-0 aggregate lead picked up last week in Venezuela. The visitors quickly doubled their aggregate advantage as Andrés Maldonado headed home on twelve minutes. Sporting Cristal would rally as Kevin Sandoval and Christofer González each found the back of the net to put the hosts on top on the night, but behind on aggregate due to the away goals tiebreaker.

On 87 minutes played, Brayan Moya sealed the tie for Zulia, with Sporting Cristal tallying a late winner that proved little more than consolation.

Zulia will face Argentine opposition Colón in the quarterfinals.

Fluminense were the next side to qualify, and the hosts made quick work of Peñarol to ensure their spot in the final eight. Marcos Paulo found the back of the net with just two minutes played to give the hosts what would prove to be a commanding advantage on aggregate.

A peach of a goal from Yony González was next to score for Flu, with Marcos Paulo grabbing a brace quickly after halftime. Peñarol would pull one back in the 70th minute, but by that point Fluminense were securely into the quarterfinals.

Wednesday night saw Atlético Mineiro see off Botafogo 2-0 in Belo Horizonte with Fábio Santos and Vinícius Goes finding the nylon for the hosts.

Atlético Mineiro next face an intriguing quarterfinal tie against Colombian upstarts La Equidad.

On Thursday, Corinthians entered their match with Montevideo Wanderers with a commanding 2-0 advantage. A goalless first half played right into their hands, and Vágner Love put the tie on ice early on in the second half. The teams then traded goals, and it was Vágner Love again for Corinthians who scored what proved to be the winner.

Corinthians’ advancement sets up an all-Brazilian clash in the quarterfinals, as Timão will face a streaking Fluminense side with a semifinal spot at stake.

The final match of the week proved the most exciting as Universidad Católica of Ecuador played host to Independiente of Argentina. The hosts opened the scoring from the penalty spot on eighteen minutes played, levelling the tie on aggregate and setting the stage for a dramatic night.

A first half red card to Guillermo Dos Santos saw the hosts reduced to ten men, and an Independiente goal from Martín Benítez early in the second half looked to have sealed the tie. Playing against ten men, Independiente scored again midway through the half, this time through Pablo Hernández, but the match was far from over. Universidad Católica would score twice before the end of the night, the first a fine finish from Walter Chalá, the second a golazo from Luis Amarilla.

Needing one more goal late, the hosts pushed on, but in the end Independiente did enough to hold on to advance via the away goals tiebreaker.

That sets up a truly fascinating quarterfinal tie between the Argentines and 2016 Libertadores runners-up Independiente del Valle.