Velez ousts Libertad, reaches semis
Maximiliano Moralez scored twice as Velez Sarsfield of Argentina became the first club through to the Copa Libertadores semifinals on Wednesday after a 4-2 win at Paraguay's Libertad.
Velez won the first leg 3-0 in Argentina and the lead was never seriously threatened despite Rodrigo Rojas stoking Libertad's hopes with a 44th-minute volley from Miguel Samudio's left-wing cross.
Moralez snuffed out the revival within a minute, taking advantage of Arnaldo Vera's mistake to finish off Victor Zapata's pass and leave Libertad needing four second-half goals to progress.
Manuel Maciel gave Libertad the lead again in the 51st with a waist-high shot into the far corner from the left side of the box, but Moralez hit another equalizer after a slick passing move in the 67th.
Guillermo Franco hit a penalty in the 86th and Augusto Fernandez added a late fourth goal to secure the win.
Velez is hunting a double trophy haul this season. The Buenos Aires club leads the Argentine league and is looking for a second Libertadores win to follow up its 1994 triumph.
''This is a great team that can achieve big things,'' Moralez said.
The Universidad Catolica-Penarol and Cerro Porteno-Chiapas quarterfinals finish Thursday.