“We had a lot of chances to finish the tie, but we were not able to do it,” Ariel Holan said after watching his Independiente side race into a four-goal lead against Deportes Iquique only to take a 4-2 advantage to Chile in three weeks.
Goals haven’t been easy to come by in Avellaneda and ultimately cost Independiente a place in the Copa Libertadores but there were no such problems on Wednesday evening as Holan’s side stuck four past the hapless Chileans in the opening 45 minutes.
20-year-old Alan Franco nodded in his first senior goal to open the scoring before another of Independiente’s impressive youngsters, Ezequiel Barco raced clear to slot in the second.
It was Leandro Fernández’s fine through ball that created the goal for Barco and minutes later, the striker, only recently returned from a lengthy injury absence, headed a third. Nery Domínguez volleyed in the fourth on the stroke of half time and with a quarter of tie complete, it looked all over.
Independiente perhaps should have added to their haul after the break but noticeably took the foot off the gas and allowed the visitors to claw back two goals. Diego Bielkiewicz from the penalty spot and Leonado Espinoza reduced the deficit and at least provide the home side of some hope ahead of the second leg.