Vélez Sarsfield progressed to the second round of the Copa Sudamericana on Tuesday evening despite suffering a 2-1 defeat to ten-man Aucas in Quito. A Thiago Almada penalty with literally the last kick of the game, deep in stoppage time sent Gabriel Heinze’s side through on away goals.
It certainly wasn’t a showcase of Vélez or Almada’s talent but the 18-year-old showed tremendous composure to slot the ball past Aucas goalkeeper Damián Frascarelli in the 97th minute to win the tie.
Vélez had been woeful and despite the hosts having Tomás Oneto sent off during the first half, the Argentinian club failed to make their advantage show.
Instead it was the ten men of Aucas that not only cancelled out Vélez’s first leg lead but went ahead. Talented youngster Alexander Alvarado drilled in the first shortly after the break before another of Ecuador’s under-20 South American champions, John Espinoza burst forward from right-back to make it two.
Vélez had no answer and only a calamitous bit of defending by Carlos Arboleda gifted the opportunity of an away goal. The substitute panicked in the penalty area after failing to clear and tripped Lucas Janson allowing Almada to score from the spot.
Aucas 2 – 1 Vélez Sarsfield (AGG 2-2)
Vélez win on away goals
— CONMEBOL Sudamericana (@Sudamericana) February 19, 2020
Meanwhile in the Copa Libertadores third round, Atlético Tucumán again left themselves with a second leg deficit to overcome after slipping to a 1-0 defeat to Independiente Medellín.
Andrés Ricaurte scored the only goal after quarter of an hour finding the bottom corner from the edge of the box and Atlético rarely looked like salvaging anything.
Just as they did against The Strongest in the second round, Atlético will need a strong performance back at the Estadio Monumental José Fierro if they are to snatch the final spot in Group H with Boca Juniors, Libertad and Caracas.
Independiente Medellín 1 – 0 Atlético Tucumán
— CONMEBOL Libertadores (@Libertadores) February 19, 2020