Universidad Catolica cruise past Blooming
Chilean giants Universidad Catolica outclassed Bolivian rivals Blooming 3-0 on Thursday night to secure a 4-1 aggregate win and advance to the second stage of the Copa Sudamericana.
After picking up a valuable 1-1 draw in the away leg, the hosts needed only 11 minutes to open the scoring in the second meeting as Hans Martinez headed home.
Michael Rios doubled their advantage on the half-hour mark with an unstoppable penalty, and Pablo Gonzalez extinguished any hopes of an unlikely comeback by rounding off a fine team move with the third goal 17 minutes from time.
"It's not easy to play two tournaments at the same time, especially when the team is not fully integrated yet," said coach Martin Lazarte, whose side will face Venezuelan team Deportivo Lara or Colombian outfit Deportes Tolima in the next stage.
"These kind of games help us to grow as a group. But we win and also kept a clean sheet in the second leg, which is important for our defenders."
Also on Thursday night, Paraguayan side Guarani upset Bolivian team Oriente Petrolero, winning 2-1 in Santa Cruz de la Sierra to clinch a 2-2 aggregate draw and advance on away goals.
The majority at the Estadio Ramon Tahuichi Aguilera expected the hosts to advance following their 1-0 first-leg win in Asuncion.
But Uruguayan midfielder Sergio Orteman got them worried by putting the visitors ahead in the 19th minute after good work by Jorge Mendoza.
The home team recovered their shape and equalised through Argentinian striker Danilo Carando 12 minutes after the break, but substitute Dante Lopez grabbed the crucial second away goal 17 minutes from the end to send the Caciques through.
They will face the winners of the tie between Peruvian outfit Inti Gas and Colombian side Millonarios in the next round.
Finally, Venezuelan team Mineros of Guayana came from a goal down to defeat Colombian side La Equidad 2-1 on the night - 3-1 on aggregate.
Carmelo Valencia levelled the tie after only 22 seconds when he opened the scoring for the visitors, but Mineros reacted well and sealed their progress with goals from Jose Vallenilla and Alejandro Guerra.
Next up for Carlos Maldonado's side will be Paraguayan giants Cerro Porteno.