Last month’s 4-1 win over Peruvian minnows Binacional should have been by an even greater margin and while the altitude of Arequipa proved more of a leveller, Independiente still managed to secure a comprehensive 6-2 aggregate victory for a place in the Copa Sudamericana last 32.
The game in Avellaneda was played virtually exclusively in the Binacional half but in Peru on Wednesday evening, both sides created chances in what was a surprisingly open second leg.
Pablo Pérez tested goalkeeper Michael Sotillo from 45 yards in the opening minutes and opposite number Martín Campaña was also kept busy during an even opening 45 minutes.
Independiente turned the screw somewhat after the break and it didn’t take long to force the breakthrough, Sotillo flapped at a cross from the right and Pablo Hernández arrived at the back post to thrash a volley into the net.
Cecilio Domínguez then clattered the post with a low drive from outside the box but didn’t have to wait long for a goal. The Paraguayan skipped away from one challenge and rounded Sotillo before slotting the ball into the empty net to make the result all the more emphatic.
Hector Zeta managed to pull one back for Binacional as a consolation but Independiente progressed as expected to the next round with ease. For a club only formed in 2010 and a first international competition, the Peruvians will remember the tie against one of South America’s most decorated clubs while Independiente know that far greater tests lie ahead and huge improvements are still needed.
— CONMEBOL Sudamericana (@Sudamericana) May 2, 2019