Despite Católica’s relatively comfortable victory in the first leg at home, the subsequent match in Colombia proved to be a lot more difficult for the Chilean team.
Knowing they had to chase the game, Tolima surged ahead and was two goals up before half time, thanks to Felix Noguera’s long-range effort, and a goal from Gerardo Vallejo, who smashed the ball in at the near post from the right hand side of the goal.
Tolima resumed the second half in the same way that it finished the first and shot to a 3-0 lead on the night and 3-2 on aggregate in the 49th minute. Robin Ramirez ran on to a pass on the right, and fired an unstoppable shot from the angle into the roof of the net.
In the 53rd minute, Tomás Costa scored Católica’s crucial away goal that was enough to see the away team progress to the next round. After collecting the ball outside of the area, Costa fired in a low drive past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net. Católica was content to sit on the scoreline, which now put the Chilean team ahead 4-3 on aggregate, and held on against a Tolima team that pushed for another goal.
Católica will meet Brazilian team Atlético Goianiense in the next round on Sept. 26.
Barcelona 4-3 Cobreloa
Ecuadorian team Barcelona progressed to the round of 16 of the Copa Sudamericana on Wednesday at the expense of Chilean team Cobreloa. After a goalless first leg in Chile, the tie sparked life in the Ecuadorian team, and Damián Díaz’s spectacular overhead kick in the 73rd minute won the pulsating, end-to-end match.
Cobreloa’s coach, Javier Torrente, expressed his disappointment at his team’s inability to hold on to its winning position just after halftime, when the game was tied at 3-3.
“Maybe we lacked a heavier offensive,” Torrente said. “We carried the game forward, especially in the second half, where it seemed Cobreloa could have stayed with victory.”
Barcelona took an early lead in the sixth minute when Michael Arroyo fired in a low, first time shot from 25 yards into the back of the net, after skillful buildup play from midfield playmaker Damián Díaz.
Cobreloa immediately responded, however, after José Luis Díaz fired in the equalizer. Cristián Canío capitalized on a defensive error before laying the ball on a plate for Díaz, who calmly side-footed the ball into the top right corner of the goal. In a game of many chances, Cobreloa was soon to fall behind once again.
Barcelona retook the lead from a corner after some slack defending from the away team. Cobreloa goalkeeper Luciano Palos came out to claim the corner but found himself in no-man’s land, leaving Jayro Campos an open net in which to poke the ball home.
Barcelona soon had a two-goal advantage after Arroyo scored his second long-range goal of the game in the 23rd minute. Arroyo, given too much time and space, carried the ball past three opposition players before striking a powerful, curling shot past a diving Palos in goal.
Juan Abarca reduced the deficit for Cobreloa five minutes before halftime with a scruffy and contentious looking goal. Abarca poked a ball goal-bound from a corner kick that barely looked like it crossed the line after some last-ditch defending. But the goal was given and seemed to rejuvenate Cobreloa.
Ten minutes after the halftime break Cobreloa equalized to bring the game to 3-3. The away team again capitalized on a defensive mistake, before the ball broke to Patricio Troncoso, who fired a shot from the right hand side of the area through the arms of Maximo Banguera in goal and into the back of the net. At 3-3, Cobreloa would have progressed to the next stage because of the away goal rule, but Barcelona had other plans.
Fine wing play by Jayro Campos on the right touch line gave the midfielder time to swing over a cross into the area. With the ball slightly behind Díaz, the Argentine had to adjust his body before firing in a spectacular overhead kick. The goal proved to be a fitting winner, as Barcelona held on for victory.
Barcelona will play Brazilian team Gremio in the next round, with the first leg to be played in Ecuador on Sept. 26.
By Tom Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Copyright 2012 - The Santiago Times