Huracán’s miraculous recent cup form continued last night in Venezuela; from the brink of early elimination, Diego Mendoza headed an injury time goal to send El Globo through to the group stages of the Copa Libertadores on away goals.
Taking only a one-goal lead to Caracas after a home leg in which Huracán played against ten men for much of the game almost came back to haunt Eduardo Domínguez’s side last night and had it not been for El Globo’s incredible spirit, the Copa Libertadores dream would have been over. Rubert Quijada gave the home side a deserved lead on the stroke of half time which levelled the tie and once Mariano González was sent off for a second bookable offence, the visitors would have probably taken penalties.
That outcome was rendered impossible when Paulo Arango drilled a low shot past Marcos Díaz but deep into injury time, late substitute Diego Mendoza arrived at the back post to head home Ezequiel Mirallas’ hanging cross. The recent signing from Estudiantes making only his second competitive appearance for Huracán will be hard pushed to score another as significant.
The vital away goal put Huracán through to the group stage, where they will face Peñarol, Atlético Nacional and Sporting Cristal in Group Four. Back-to-back qualification is a great achievement for El Globo but as they currently sit bottom of the descenso table, they must ensure that the league form doesn’t suffer as it did last year.