Reigning Colombia Primera A champions Millonarios have kept their hopes of another title alive with a 2-1 win over Santa Fe.
A late brace from Fredy Montero gave Millonarios victory as they continued their bid for a place in the championship final, moving within three points of Group A leaders Santa Fe with a round to play in the semi-final stages of the Primera A.
Santa Fe have 10 points at the top of Group A with Millonarios (seven points), Deportivo Cali (six) and Once Caldas (four) making up the rest of the pool, while in Group B, Deportes Tolima remain top on seven ahead of Deportivo Pasto, Itagui (both six) and Atletico Nacional (four).
The winners of each group will face off for the 2013 Apertura championship – the first half of the Colombian league season – in a two-legged play-off.
Millonarios, who won the 2012 Clausura championship, entered Saturday’s game against Bogata rivals Santa Fe knowing anything but a win would mean they would miss out on the Apertura decider.
The situation got worse for Millonarios in the opening minute when Santa Fe scored thanks to Julian Lalinde’s header after his team-mate Cristian Borja headed the ball back across goal from a free-kick.
But when Borja was shown two yellow cards in three second-half minutes, Santa Fe lost their momentum and Montero equalised for Millonarios in the 77th minute, thrashing a free-kick into the top corner off one step.
Montero’s second goal came six minutes later as he chipped Santa Fe goalkeeper Juan Manuel Leyton to hand Millonarios a crucial victory.
Millonarios will overhaul Santa Fe in the final round of the semi-final stage with a win over Once Caldas, while the latter will need to lose to Deportivo Cali.
In other Colombian league results over the weekend, Once Caldas defeated Cali 2-1, Tolima were held to a 1-1 draw by Atletico Nacional and Itagui won 1-0 away to Pasto.