Ecuador's Liga de Quito drew 1-1 at Independiente on Tuesday to ensure Group 8 qualification to the last 16 in the Copa Libertadores will rest on the final game.
Leonel Nunez gave Argentina's Independiente the lead from the penalty spot in the 24th minute, before Hernan Barcos equalized with a deflected effort in the 58th for 2008 Libertadores champion Liga.
With five games played, the result moved Liga to second place in the group on seven points, ahead of Argentine club Godoy Cruz on goal difference. Penarol leads with nine, while Independiente has five. The top two qualify for the knockout round.
''It's going to be difficult for us to qualify now,'' said Independiente's Leonel Galeano. ''We played a good game, but we couldn't get the win.''
The result means Independiente could be eliminated even if it wins its final match at Penarol next week. Liga will definitely progress with a home win over Godoy Cruz.
Nunez opened the scoring for Independiente after a controversial penalty decision. Replays seemed to show an offside in the build up, and when Nunez's shot was fumbled by goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez, Galeano tried to latch onto the rebound.
Liga defender Diego Calderon attempted to recover, but Galeano went down in a tangle of legs and the referee pointed to the spot.
Dominguez was booked for protesting and Nunez completed the punishment by sending the goalkeeper the wrong way with the penalty.
Liga's luck changed in the second half, however, when Hernan Barcos' scuffed cross from an angle took a deflection and crept inside the near post to level the scores.
''We still have a chance if we win the last match and we'll keep going until there's absolutely no possibility,'' said Independiente defender Roberto Battion.
So far, only Paraguay's Libertad, Atletico Junior of Colombia, Cruzeiro of Brazil and Argentina's Estudiantes have guaranteed places in the final 16.
Group matches in Latin America's top international club competition continue through April. The final is scheduled for June.