Atletico Nacional secure passage
© AFP

Colombian giants Atletico Nacional sealed their progress into the Copa Libertadores last-16 with a 3-1 win away to Newell's Old Boys in Argentina on Thursday night.

A dramatic start to the Group 6 match saw two red cards and three goals inside the opening 20 minutes. It began with Newell's defender Victor Lopez and Atletico's Edwin Cardona clashing angrily to earn their marching orders, and moments later, Santiago Trellez scored a somewhat fortunate opener for Atletico after an error from Newell's goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman.

Sherman Cardenas turned in a cross to double the lead before the 15-minute mark, and the Milton Casco pulled a goal back as the action moved from end to end. Orlando Berrio sealed the game for Atletico 10 minutes into the second half, assuring them of second place in the group.

Group 6 leaders Gremio eased to a 1-0 win over Uruguay's Nacional with Hernan Barcos scoring for the Brazilians from the penalty spot.

Reigning champions Atletico Mineiro secured top spot in Group 4 with a 1-0 win over Venezuela's Zamora, with Jo firing in the winner after nine minutes.

"We had a lot of chances to score as we controlled most of the match," Mineiro coach Paulo Autori said. "I really enjoyed the team's performance. We had the right attitude to remain top."

Paraguay's Nacional will follow them through to the next round after coming from behind to beat Colombia's Independiente Santa Fe 3-2 and secure second spot.

Independiente had struck first through Wilder Medina after half an hour, but Julian Benitez levelled it before the break. Medina scored to equalise 10 minutes from time after Fredy Bareiro had given Nacional a second-half lead, but seven minutes from time Silvio Torales scored the winner.

In a match between two sides who have already qualified from Group 8, Argentina's Arsenal romped to a 3-0 win over Santos Laguna of Mexico.

Emilio Zelaya got the opener from a cross after 21 minutes before Mariano Echeverria pounced on a loose ball to grab the second early in the second half. Victory was wrapped up when Spaniard Marc Crosas headed into his own net with quarter of an hour to go.

Uruguay's Penarol, already eliminated, wrapped up their campaign with a 1-1 draw against Venezuela's Anzoategui.