Copa Libertadores wrap: Chiapas through to last eight

A last-minute equaliser saw Chiapas draw 3-3 at Atletico Junior on Thursday to reach the Copa Libertadores quarter-finals on away goals.After a 1-1 draw in the first leg at Chiapas, it was Colombian champions Junior who took the lead in the return fixture, with Juan Valencia opening the scoring in the 35th minute at Estadio Roberto Melendez.

Defender Valencia had the luxury of stroking the ball into an empty net after a basic error from Chiapas goalkeeper Jorge Villalpando.

Fortunately for Villalpando, Jackson Martinez equalised four minutes later for the Mexican visitors.

Luis Paez put Junior back in front with a spot-kick on 50 minutes, after two previous penalty appeals were harshly dismissed by referee Heber Lopes.

Yet again, forward Martinez was on hand to level for Chiapas just past the hour mark.

Villalpando was then culpable for a second time when he spilled a tame cross on the goal line, allowing Carlos Bacca an easy finish to make it 3-2 to Junior with 18 minutes remaining.

It was an error too far for Chiapas coach Jose Guadalupe Cruz, who promptly substituted the hapless goalkeeper.

Clearly unhappy, Villalpando became involved in an argument with the bench that soon escalated into a brawl with his own coaching staff.

At the same time, an Atletico fan invaded the pitch only to be hacked down by Chiapas substitute Ricardo Esqueda.

A second fight erupted in the centre circle which resulted in the sending off of Chiapas goalscorer Martinez and Junior defender Cesar Fawcett, while Chiapas defender Ismael Fuentes was also booked.

Despite the chaos, Junior remained in front and on course for the last eight.

But midfielder Edgar Andrade struck for Chiapas from 25 yards out to make it 3-3 in the match and 4-4 on aggregate, sending the Mexican team through to the quarter-finals on the away goals rule.

They will take on Paraguayans Cerro Porteno, who progressed courtesy of a 5-3 penalty shootout victory following two goalless draws with Argentines Estudiantes de la Plata.

Velez Sarsfield, also of Argentina, defeated Ecuador’s LDU Quito 2-0 away from home, 6-0 on aggregate.

They will now meet Paraguayan champions Libertad in the last eight.

 


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