Huracán narrowly avoided relegation from the Primera last month but looked every inch a broken side on Tuesday evening as Paraguayan club Libertad romped to a 5-1 victory in Parque Patricios.
Veteran centre forward Óscar Cardozo, a recent acquisition for the visitors, climbed to head Libertad in front inside the opening three minutes and when the 34-year-old slotted in a second before the half hour mark, the writing was on the wall for El Globo.
Huracán tested goalkeeper Rodrigo Muñoz on a couple of occasions but a horrendous bit of defending by Hugo Nervo allowed Santiago Salcedo to add a simple third after 57 minutes.
Antonio Bareiro turned in a fourth before the home side well and truly unraveled. The talented Alejandro Romero Gamarra was sent off for a foolish kick out at Sergio Aquino and finally a careless challenge presented Salcedo the opportunity to slot home a fifth goal from the penalty spot.
Mariano González’s deflected free-kick did pull a goal back but Huracán face a seemingly impossible task to progress. After overcoming a three-goal deficit in the last round when getting Deportivo Anzoátegui back to the Estadio Tomás A. Ducó, El Globo now need to go even further and on Paraguayan soil when they travel to Asunción in three weeks.
A little later in Bolivia, Atlético Tucumán came from behind to secure a 3-2 win over Oriente Petrolero.
Maxi Freitas volleyed the home side ahead with barely a minute on the clock but second half goals from Luis Rodríguez and Bruno Bianchi put El Decano back in control.
A deflected Freitas shot pulled Oriente Petrolero level in the 87th minute only for the prolific Fernando Zampedri to head an almost immediate winner.
Back in Tucumán at the start of August, Atleti will be confident of progressing to the last 16.
Huracán 1 – 5 Libertad
Oriente Petrolero 2 – 3 Atlético Tucumán