Copa Libertadores wrap: Universidad, Velez book last-16 spots

Chilean side Universidad Catolica and Argentine outfit Velez Sarsfield booked their places in the last 16 of the Copa Libertadores on Thursday.Catolica secured their spot in the knockout stages with a 2-1 win over fellow Chileans Union Espanola, to move one point clear on top of Group 4.

After falling behind to a Kevin Harbottle strike two minutes after the interval, Catolica hit back hard with a goal from Pablo Calandria two minutes later before sealing the win with 12 minutes remaining thanks to an own goal from Giovanny Espinoza.

Second place in Group 4 was taken by Velez Sarsfield after they romped to a 3-0 win over Venezuelan side Caracas – the only other side in contention to progress – powered by a goal from Maximiliano Moralez and a brace from Santiago Silva.

Velez finished the group stage on 10 points, Caracas were just a point behind in third with Union Espanola finishing bottom with four points.

In Group 2, Colombian side Junior ensured they progressed to the knockout stages on top of the standings after playing out a 1-1 draw at home with Peruvian outfit Leon de Huanuco.

Jossymar Gomez gave the hosts the lead after 76 minutes, but the Peruvians equalised through Orlando Rodriguez eight minutes later.

Junior’s place on top of Group 2 was ensured when Brazilians Gremio slumped to a 3-0 defeat to Bolivian side Oriente Petrolero.

Second-half goals from Nicolas Fernandez, Fernando Saucedo and Juan Carlos Arce handed Oriente the win, although Gremio had already secured their place in the next round ahead of the clash.

Junior finished on top of Group 2 with 13 points, Gremio were second on 10, Oriente were third on six and Leon de Huanuco finished bottom on five points.

And in Group 5, Brazilian side Santos pulled level with second-placed Cerro Porteno on eight points with a 2-1 win over the Paraguayans in Asuncion.

Danilo gave Santos the lead after 11 minutes and Maikon doubled their advantage two minutes after the break.

The score stayed at 2-0 until Pedro Benitez scored a late consolation for the hosts on the 90-minute mark.

Chilean side Colo Colo top the group on nine points, Cerro Porteno and Santos second and third respectively on eight, and Venezuelans Deportivo Tachira are bottom on just two points with each side having one game to play.