Liga de Quito again win through to decider
Ecuadorian giants Liga Deportiva Universitaria reached another Copa Sudamericana final as they beat Argentinian champions Velez Sarsfield 1-0 in Buenos Aires to clinch a 3-0 aggregate win on Tuesday.
Hernan Barcos scored the only goal early in the second half, and Liga will face Universidad de Chile or Brazilian giants Vasco da Gama next. Edgardo Bauza's Liga side are targeting their second Sudamericana title, having won their first in 2009 when they defeated Fluminense of Brazil. They also won the Copa Libertadores in 2008.
Tonight Ricardo Gareca's Velez had to react to the 2-0 defeat they suffered in Quito, forcing them to play an attacking game. Guillermo Franco had an opportunity to give Velez the lead in the 20th minute, when he connected with a Hector Canteros cross from the right to the far post. Liga goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez prevented his effort crossing the goalline.
Four minutes after the interval, Argentinian striker Barcos put Liga ahead, allowing the Ecuadorian side to play a relaxed game for the remainder of the second half. Neicer Reasco crossed the ball and Barcos reached between two defenders to control with his right leg and immediately shoot past goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero.
With six minutes to go, Enrique Gamez failed to finish off a Barcos cross from the left after a counter-attacking move which could have brought another goal for Liga. Velez almost scored in stoppage-time but Dominguez saved well from Ezequiel Rescaldani's header.
Dominguez was delighted with the win, telling Fox Sports: "We have to rest well because we'll play a very tough final. I highlight all the team's attitude. We knew it was going to be hard and Velez eliminated us from the Copa Libertadores earlier this year so we've had a bad taste since then."
Velez midfielder Augusto Fernandez was unable to hide his disappointment, saying: "We are sad because we wanted to win, we had that dream. We don't regret anything. We played better in Buenos Aires. They played better in Quito. Also, they scored goals."
Universidad de Chile and Vasco da Gama drew 1-1 in Rio de Janeiro last week and clash again on Wednesday night in Santiago.