Late penalty fires Velez into semis

A dubious last-minute penalty gave Argentinian champions Velez Sarsfield a 4-3 aggregate win over Colombia’s Independiente Santa Fe and a place in the Copa Sudamericana semi-finals.

After rescuing a 1-1 draw in Colombia, Velez started superbly as Guillermo Franco scored twice in the first 20 minutes to put them in control of the tie.

But Jonathan Copete and Omar Perez, with a penalty, levelled the scores once

more and Velez needed Juan Manuel Martinez’s disputed spot-kick to see them over the line.

Franco nodded home after Hector Canteros’ shot hit the woodwork and was then set up by Martinez to make it 2-0.

Velez controlled the remainder of the first half but Copete struck within a minute of the restart to cut the deficit to a single goal.

Oscar Rodas went close to an equaliser and Copete headed against the woodwork before Velez keeper Marcelo Barovero brought down Copete and Perez converted the resulting penalty to put his side ahead on away goals.

But Chilean referee Enrique Oses was again at the centre of the action in the 90th minute when Augusto Fernandez fell into the box and he pointed to the spot.

Following lengthy protests from the Colombians, Martinez stepped up to see his

side into the last four.