Argentinian striker Hernan Barcos netted a hat-trick as Ecuadorian giants Liga Deportiva Universitaria took a massive step towards the last 16 of the Copa Sudamericana with a 4-1 home win over Venezuela’s Trujillanos.
Trujillanos made a dream start as Juan Manuel Falcon fired home after just 45 seconds, but Barcos equalised in the 25th minute from Ezequiel Gonzalez’s corner.
Barcos headed home another corner from Gonzalez to put Liga ahead two minutes before half-time, while Gonzalez himself scored the third from a free-kick in the 87th minute and Barcos completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot in injury time.
Liga coach Edgardo Bauza said: "We clinched a margin of victory that helps us increase our illusion to qualify, but it will be very difficult because Trujillanos attack with a lot of players when they play at home.
"The team played badly in the first half. They were nervous, but some players are great enough and it helps when things are not well.”
Another team to claim an away win were Paraguay’s Libertad, who defeated La Equidad 1-0 in Colombia thanks to Robin Ramirez’s 76th-minute winner.
Libertad midfielder Victor Caceres told FOX Sports that the half-time team talk of coach Jorge Burruchaga was crucial.
He said: "We didn’t play well in the first half. We failed with a number of passes. In the second half we encouraged more and managed to score.”
In Santiago, a 60th-minute strike by Eduardo Vargas gave Universidad de Chile a 1-0 home win over Uruguayan giants Nacional.
Universidad midfielder Nelson Rebolledo was sent off in the last minute after being shown a second yellow card and will miss the return match next Tuesday.