Santiago is the only city in South America with two representatives in the quarter-finals of the Copa Sudamericana after Universidad Católica and Universidad de Chile both came through tight two-legged affairs.
Both teams’ progression means that there is still the possibility of the clubs meeting in the semi-final. But before then they need to come through tough ties against illustrious clubs from Argentina and Brazil.
UC and La U went into their games on the back of disappointments in the league; UC were beaten 2-0 at home to Huachipato while Los Azules lost el superclásico to arch-rivals Colo Colo.
Atlético Goianiense 3-1 Universidad Católica (Agg 3-3; U. Católica win on away goals)
Los Cruzados clung onto qualification to the quarter-finals of the Copa Sudamericana, keeping the wolves from the door of manager Martín Lasarte’s office as tension grows amongst fans while coaches are being linked to his job.
Atlético GO prop up the Brazilian Serie A, their fate almost sealed, but were by far the better side in the opening 45 minutes; midfield maestro Joilson pulled the strings in midfield, and if he wasn’t pulling them he was tearing UC apart single-handily.
He opened the scoring before sending in the cross which, not for the first time in the tournament, Cristopher Toselli got nowhere near allowing Reniê to tap in at the back post.
Los Cruzados pulled back what would prove to be the crucial away goal through Michael Ríos after a fine move involving Fernando Cordero and Claudio Sepúlveda; the latter having struggled throughout the match at right-back.
The Chileans got a better grounding in the second-half on what was a terrible pitch in Goiânia. UC didn’t look as vulnerable at the back and as flat as they did in their 4-4-2. Yet it did not stop them conceding a third as a clipped ball over the top had the Católica defence turning and Hans Martínez was adjudged to have committed an offence; Marcos, the Atlético GO goalkeeper, stepped up and coolly sent Toselli the wrong way.
Católica hung on though with a dogged second-half performance, enthusiastically encouraged by Lasarte, sporting José Camacho sweaty armpits.
UC now face seven-time Copa Libertadores winners Independiente in the quarter-finals.
Emelec 0-1 Universidad de Chile (Agg 2-3)
Universidad de Chile continued their Copa Sudamericana heroics in Ecuador with a tight single goal victory that sets up the mouth-watering clash with Brazilian giants Sao Paulo in the quarter-finals; the stand-out tie.
In the final of the 2011 Copa Sudamericana La U came away from Quito with a 1-0 first-leg lead, which they of course added to in the second-leg. They recorded the same scoreline in Guayaquil last night in front of a partisan home crowd, giving them their first international win in eight matches.
With Jhonny Herrera staying in Chile to attend court over driving offences Paulo Garcés filled in, delivering a man of the match performance between the posts.
The goal came in the 57th minute when Enzo Gutiérrez took advantage of poor defending to rob the ball off the last man and finish calmly into the corner.