There was no question that Defensa y Justicia’s margin of victory when El Nacional visited Florencio Varela two weeks ago should have been greater but it proved just enough for Sebastián Beccacece’s side as even with defeat in Ecuador, El Halcón made it the Copa Sudamericana last 16.
The two-goal first leg lead was made to look all the more fragile when Daniel Angulo volleyed past goalkeeper Ezequiel Unsain after 19 minutes but Defensa y Justicia held firm.
There was little from El Halcón as an offensive threat and despite going behind, the visitors continued to pack players behind the ball and frustrate El Nacional.
As the rain hammered down and Defensa y Justicia grew increasingly tired the pressure increased but the Ecuadorians were unable to add a decisive second.
Uruguayan club Boston River or Banfield meet on Wednesday evening in the Estadio Florencio Sola, the winner awaits Defensa y Justicia in the last 16.