It was a bad night for Argentine clubs in this year’s Copa Sudamericana as Independiente and Belgrano were both eliminated by Brazilian clubs after tense penalty shootouts.
The goalless draw in Avellaneda last week meant Independiente needed a positive result in Chapecó against Chapecoense but Gabi Milito’s side failed really get a hold of the game and were ultimately punished for their profligacy in front of goal, in the first leg and in Wednesday evening’s shootout.
Jorge Ortíz came closest to winning the tie for El Rojo when he clattered the cross bar after half time but it was then the Brazilians that will feel they should have won it. Twice they hit the woodwork but somehow the ball stayed out and in spite of twelve minutes added time after problems in the stands between police and Independiente supporters, the match went to penalties.
Both sides had opportunities to win it after a series of misses but eventually in sudden death it fell to Nicolás Tagliafico to keep Independiente in the contest and his weak effort was saved by Danilo. Chapecoense progress to face Colombian side, Junior in the quarter finals.
Later in Córdoba, Belgrano were also stunned but having at one stage extended their aggregate lead over Coritiba to 3-1 will see this is a huge opportunity missed.
Claudio Bieler scored twice in Brazil last week to give El Pirata a first leg lead and so when the in-form striker put the hosts one-up on Wednesday night with a close-range bicycle kick, it appeared as though Esteban González’s side were firmly in control.
However, Iago headed the visitors level on the night just before half time and it significantly shifted the momentum of the tie.
On the hour mark, Nery Bareiro rose to powerfully head in from a corner and with the aggregate score now level and two away goals apiece scored, the match headed to penalties.
Despite missing their first effort and handing the early initiative to Belgrano, Coritiba were flawless from then on and so when Sebastián Luna and Gastón Álvarez Suárez missed the fourth and fifth for the hosts it was all over.
Coritiba will play Copa Libertadores champions Atlético Nacional and all Argentine hopes now rest with San Lorenzo who play their last 16 second leg against Deportivo La Guaira on Thursday.
Chapecoense 0 – 0 Independiente (AGG 0-0)
Chapecoense won 5-4 on penalties
Belgrano 1 – 2 Coritiba (AGG 3-3)
Coritiba won 4-3 on penalties