Vasco fights back to secure semi spot

Brazilian side Vasco da Gama came back from a two-goal first-leg deficit to overcome Universitario and reach the Copa Sudamericana semi-finals.

Cristovao Borges’ side won the second leg 5-2 to claim a 5-4 aggregate win, with four goals in the second period.

The Peruvian side actually extended their lead by going 2-1 up on the night but crumbled when they were reduced to nine men after red cards for Jesus Rabanal and Antonio Gonzalez.

Vasco took the lead in the 23rd minute as Diego Souza netted a penalty, but Raul Ruidiaz equalised nine minutes later by rounding off a counter-attack.

After the half-time whistle, the referee dismissed Universitario midfielder Antonio Gonzalez and Vasco forward Diego Souza for arguing. A long-range shot by Rabanal, deflected by Dede, then gave Universitario the lead two minutes after the restart.

However, Elton levelled with a header a minute later and Dede made it 3-2 to Vasco before Rabanal was sent off in the 61st minute after clashing with Fagner.

Dede struck again for Vasco in the 72nd minute before Alecsandro netted after a Juninho corner with nine minutes to go.

Vasco lie second in their domestic league, behind leaders Corinthians only on goal average, and defender Dede told the team should put tiredness aside and focus on winning both competitions.

"We clinched the qualification. It’s time to forget the past,” he said.

"I am happy to help the team win by scoring goals.”