Atlético Tucumán certainly don’t look like a side capable of matching 2018’s run to the Copa Libertadores quarter-finals but El Decano booked a spot in Round Three after overcoming a 2-0 first leg defeat to The Strongest to emerge victorious on penalties.
Well beaten in the altitude of La Paz last week, Ricardo Zielinski knew what his side were up against in a typically vibrant Estadio José Fierro and despite some nervy moments Atlético prevailed.
Marcelo Ortíz heading in at a corner after 22 minutes cut the deficit but Atlético’s attack was all too predictable as they launched the ball in the direction of Leandro Diaz and Javier Toledo.
The few changes that came their way The Strongest were unable to take advantage and without the away goal that would surely have killed off Atlético’s hopes.
Instead another cross into the box by Lucas Melano was headed in by Leonardo Heredia and the 2-0 scoreline ensured penalties.
Javier Toledo missing the first for the home team handed the advantage to the Bolivians and substitute Rolando Blackburn had the chance to win the tie but instead stuttered and hopped like former Decano hero Pulga Rodríguez and saw his effort saved by Cristian Lucchetti.
Earlier goalscorer Ortíz slotted in for Atlético and Lucchetti’s second stop to deny Saúl Torres clinched victory.
Independiente de Medellín await in Round Three with a place in Group H up for grabs.
🔥🇦🇷 ¡Noche de emociones en Tucumán!
👀🎥 Para volver a ver: el triunfo por penales de @ATOficial, tras haber ganado 2⃣-0⃣, ante @ClubStrongest.
🔜 El equipo argentino está en la Fase 3 de la #Libertadores.
— CONMEBOL Libertadores (@Libertadores) February 13, 2020
Earlier in the first round of the Copa Sudamericana, Lanús surely placed one foot in the next stage after a 3-0 first leg win over Universidad Católica.
Utterly dominant and having hit the woodwork twice during the opening 45 minutes it took until the 53rd minute for Lautaro Acosta to slide in the opener.
Only a one-goal advantage would have still been nervy ahead of a second leg in Quito but Nicolás Orsini came off the bench and struck a quick-fire double from close range.
🎥 ¡Lo mejor de la goleada 3-0 de @clublanus ante @UCatolicaEC por la ida de la Primera Fase de la #Sudamericana! pic.twitter.com/ULEGiLjcct
— CONMEBOL Sudamericana (@Sudamericana) February 13, 2020