The goalless draw against São Paulo last month was a first match in international competition for Defensa y Justicia but Thursday evening’s 1-1 draw in Morumbi sensationally dumped the Brazilian giants out of the Copa Sudamericana.
The daunting draw against São Paulo had looked as though it would end Defensa y Justicia’s dreams before they had even begun and certainly when Thiago Mendes blasted the home side ahead in the tie from 30 yards after five minutes, that appeared even more likely.
However, El Halcón responded almost immediately with Gonzalo Castellani smashing the ball past Renan Rebeiro from close range. A first international goal for the club would already have gone down in history but São Paulo’s limp response allowed Sebastián Beccacece’s side to hold on with relative ease.
The superb Alexander Barboza was sent off in the closing stages for a second yellow card but Defensa y Justicia held on for the 1-1 draw that was enough to send them through to the next round on away goals.
If Defensa y Justicia knocking out São Paulo was a surprise, what happened a little earlier in Sarandí was nothing short of staggering.
Arsenal were favourites to progress past Juan Aurich having won 2-0 in Peru back in March but for a side that have won only twice all season in the league and average 0.7 goals per game, the 6-1 scoreline on Thursday evening was remarkable.
Juan Sánchez Sotelo’s brace had put Arsenal firmly in charge at half time and goals from Franco Bellocq and Jonathan Bottinelli stretched the lead further after the break.
Enzo Borges pulled a goal back for the visitors before a Juan Brunetta free-kick and a lucky Claudio Corvalán cross concluded the rout.
Arsenal 6 – 1 Juan Aurich (AGG 8-1)
São Paulo 1 – 1 Defensa y Justicia (AGG 1-1: DyJ win on away goals)