Pablo Pintos scored the lone goal as Argentine club San Lorenzo beat Uruguay’s River Plate 1-0 despite playing most of the second half with 10 men in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana quarterfinals Wednesday.
In the first leg of the day’s other quarterfinal, Cerro Porteno of Paraguay claimed a 2-1 home victory over Brazil’s Botafogo, which had two men sent off. The return matches of both ties will be played in two weeks.
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the remaining first-leg quarterfinal of will be played Thursday between Fluminense and Universidad de Chile. Velez Sarsfield and Liga de Quito drew 1-1 on Tuesday.
The Copa Sudamericana is the second biggest club tournament in South America behind the Copa Libertadores.
San Lorenzo, coached by former Inter Milan midfielder Diego Simeone, had to dig deep to beat River after Juan Manuel Torres was sent off in the 54th minute for an ugly foul on Jorge Rodriguez.
Despite the setback, San Lorenzo looked dangerous on the break and Pintos got the valuable winner in the 71st minute, finding space in the box to head in a free kick.
Carlos Recalde opened the scoring for Cerro Porteno in the 34th, rifling a shot across Botafogo goalkeeper Jefferson after the Brazilian club’s defense failed to clear a corner.
Reinaldo equalized for Botafogo in the 58th after blocking a clearance on the edge of the box and sliding the ball past Diego Barreto in the Cerro Porteno goal.
Botafogo’s Leo Silva was sent off two minutes later, and the Brazilian club was reduced to nine men when Emerson was shown a red card after a clash in the box with just over ten minutes to play. Roberto Nanni squeezed the resultant penalty past Jefferson’s dive.
Recalde was sent off for Cerro Porteno for a second bookable offense in injury time.