Champs Universidad keep hopes alive
Defending champions Universidad de Chile progressed to the Copa Sudamericana quarter-finals on Thursday night, their 1-0 win over Emelec in Ecuador securing a 3-2 aggregate success in the last-16 tie.
Jorge Sampaoli's side had work to do in the away leg at the Estadio George Capwell after a 2-2 draw in the first meeting in Santiago earlier this month, but grabbed the game's only goal two minutes before the hour to ease any nerves.
Enzo Gutierrez was the man on target for the Blues, capitalising on a defensive mix-up by seizing on a loose ball inside the area and despatching a neat finish.
"We clinched qualification in a very difficult stadium," Sampaoli said. "We coped with the conditions and achieved our main target."
Next up for Universidad de Chile will be a testing last-eight clash with Brazilian side Sao Paulo, who ousted Ecuadorian outfit Liga de Loja.
Elsewhere on Thursday, Argentinian team Independiente eliminated Uruguay's Liverpool by posting a 2-1 win in Montevideo to complete a 4-2 aggregate triumph.
Rising star Carlos Nunez put the hosts ahead two minutes before half-time, levelling things up overall.
But Federico Mancuello equalised shortly after the break and then, after Liverpool defender Nelson Semperena was sent off, Roberto Battion made absolutely sure of Independiente's progress with a second goal in stoppage time.
"We suffered in the first half, but thanks God we founded the equaliser very fast and then we could control the match," midfielder Mancuello said. "The arrival of (coach Americo Ruben) Gallego was crucial for us and gave us a lot of confidence."
Independiente will meet Chilean side Universidad Catolica in the quarter-finals.
Another Argentinian team to advance in the competition were Tigre, who overturned a 2-0 first-leg deficit with a 4-0 home win over Deportivo Quito.
Ezequiel Maggiolo, Gaston Diaz (penalty), Alejandro Donatti and Ruben Botta were the men on target - the latter with a superb solo effort - to provide a memorable debut for new Tigre head coach Nestor Gorosito.
It was a hotly contested encounter, with Deportivo duo Jefferson Hurtado and Michael Castro sent off and Tigre's Ramiro Leone also seeing red before three goals in the final 13 minutes sealed a dramatic turnaround.
Tigre will take on Cerro Porteno in the last eight, the Paraguayan giants having knocked out Santa Fe side Colon on Tuesday.