Regular goal scorer Fernando Zampedri may be gone but cult hero Luis Rodríguez showed there is still plenty of life in the flea as the 32-year-old struck a hat-trick against Oriente Petrolero to send Atlético Tucumán comfortably through to the Copa Sudamericana last 16.
Leading 3-2 from the first leg in Bolivia and back on home soil, Rodríguez tucked away the opening goal on the stroke of half time to all but seal victory.
However, La Pulga wasn’t done there and an opportunistic header doubled the lead before a late tap-in sealed a hat-trick. El Decano now await the winners of Independiente against Deportes Iquique, with their compatriots leading 4-2 from their first leg.
Huracán didn’t find things quite so easy and after suffering an embarrassing 5-1 defeat in Parque Patricios to Libertad were all but out before a ball had even been kicked in Asunción.
El Globo battled resolutely but were undone by second half goals from Jorge Recalde and Santiago Salcedo to complete a dominant 7-1 aggregate victory for the Paraguayans.
Libertad will now face Independiente Santa Fe in the last 16, with the winners of that tie a potential quarter final opponent for Racing Club, should La Academia progress past Corinthians.
Libertad 2 – 0 Huracán (AGG 7-1)
Atlético Tucumán 3 – 0 Oriente Petrolero (AGG 6-2)