Weekly Round-Up: First 3 CONMEBOL Sudamericana Quarterfinal Spots Dished Out

Three teams have booked spots in the CONMEBOL Sudamericana Quarterfinals after this week’s action in the competition.

La Equidad made their first leg advantage count, defeating Royal Pari, while Independiente del Valle downed Caracas with a pair of second half strikes, and Colón rallied past Argentinos Juniors in regular time, then sealed the deal with plenty of drama on penalties. 

The week began in Bogotá, with home side La Equidad looking to defend a 2-1 advantage from last week’s matchup with Royal Pari. However, just as it was last week, it was the Bolivians who struck first, with John Jairo Mosquera using his strength to put the visitors on top and level on aggregate, but behind on away goals.

Royal Pari pushed for a second goal throughout the second half, but it was La Equidad who scored next, with Jeidér Riquett taking advantage of a miscommunication by the Royal Pari defense to equalize on the night. With regular time about to expire, Ethan González found the net yet again for La Equidad, his third goal of the tie, to seal the deal and give the hosts a 2-1 win and the first spot in the CONMEBOL Sudamericana Quarterfinals.  

La Equidad will face Brazilian opposition in the quarterfinals in the form of either Botafogo or Atlético Mineiro, who begin their Round of 16 clash next weekend. 

Action shifted to Quito on Wednesday, where Independiente del Valle and Caracas met up following a 0-0 draw in their first leg last week. It looked as though it could be more of the same with the score level at 0-0 following 45 minutes. But with over an hour played, Independiente del Valle finally found a breakthrough, and it was Alan Franco who finished off a fabulous team move to break the ice.

 The hosts then put the tie to bed with just over 15 minutes to play as Cristian Dájome doubled their lead and sealed their spot in the quarterfinals, where they’ll face off with either Independiente or fellow Ecuadorian side Universidad Católica. 

The final match of the week was an all-Argentine affair between Colón and Argentinos Juniors and provided the most drama of the week. Following a 1-0 win in Santa Fe last week, it was Argentinos Juniors who held the advantage going into the night. A hot start from both sides failed to result in any goals, but finally in the second half Colón found a breakthrough as Cristian Bernardi nodded home at the far post. 

The result stayed that way through 90 minutes, sending the tie to penalties. Colón’s first two penalties were both saved by Argentinos Juniors goalkeeper Lucas Chávez. However Argentinos failed to take advantage as both Santiago Silva and Damain Batallini failed to hit the target. Both sides hit their next 3 penalties, but in the sixth round, Colón’s Bernardi failed to convert. With a chance to send his side to the quarterfinals, Francis Mac Allister’s spot kick was saved by Colón’s Leonardo Burián. After Emanuel Olivera scored his penalty, Burián played the hero yet again, denying Enzo Ybañez to send Colón through.   Colón await either Sporting Cristal or Zulia in the quarterfinals.