Copa Libertadores wrap: Velez take upper hand
Velez Sarsfield took control of its Copa Libertadores round-of-16 tie with a 1-0 win over Atletico Nacional on Tuesday.
Just a day after firing manager Santiago Escobar, Nacional fell behind within 10 minutes through Ivan Bella's superb curling shot on the edge of the box.
Bella latched onto Juan Manuel Martinez's pass and after a fine turn curled it past Gaston Pezzuti off the post.
Martinez then had the chance to put the tie well in Velez's control ahead of their home leg as he stepped up to take a 54th-minute penalty, but was denied by Pezzuti.
Nacional looked aimless at times going forward as they regularly crossed to a vacant six yard box, while the competition's leading scorer Dorlan Pabon settled for long-range shots.
Libertad were happy to settle for a 1-1 draw with Cruz Azul in a tense clash in Mexico City, after grabbing a valuable away goal in the first leg.
Striker Javier Orozco was on target yet again for Cruz Azul early to put the Mexican side ahead.
Edixon Pera's cross was nodded down by Maranhao, and the 24-year-old pounced to net his fifth goal of the campaign.
Pablo Velazquez went close to levelling for Libertad shortly after the interval, but his close-range shot was parried by goalkeeper Yosgart Gutierrez.
Velazquez soon made amends, however, rising above the Cruz Azul defence to head home with 15 minutes to go to make it 1-1.