Velez, Libertad reach quarterfinals

Velez Sarsfield of Argentina and Paraguay’s Libertad became the first two teams to reach the quarterfinals of the Copa Libertadores after securing round-of-16 victories on Tuesday.

Buenos Aires club Velez advanced after a 1-1 home draw with Colombian club Nacional which clinched a 2-1 aggregate victory over two legs.

Libertad won 2-0 at home against Mexican side Cruz Azul to advance 3-1 on aggregate.

Augusto Fernandez gave Velez the lead in the 53rd, after a shot from Alejandro Cabral hit the post and bounced to him.

Nacional’s Luis Mosquera equalized with a 20-yard free kick in the 70th, which hit the underside of the crossbar before going in, but the Colombians were unable to get another goal that would have given them a victory on away goals.

Velez will face either Bolivia’s Bolivar or Santos of Brazil in the quarters.

Libertad got two almost identical goals to advance: Jose Nunez scored on a header from a free kick in the 10th, and Victor Caceres made it 2-0 on another header from a free kick in the 50th.

Libertad will play Ecuadors’ Deportivo Quito or Universidad de Chile in the quarterfinals.

The other six berths in the quarterfinals will be decided later in the week.