Monday, December 11, 2017

Pumas UNAM 2 Independiente del Valle 1 (3-3 agg, 3-5 on penalties): Hosts suffer shoot-out heartbrea

Independiente del Valle continued their remarkable run in the Copa Libertadores after sealing their spot in the semi-finals with a penalty shoot-out win, despite losing 2-1 to Pumas UNAM in Tuesday’s second leg.

After winning the first leg 2-1, 10-man Independiente found themselves 2-0 down away to Pumas and facing elimination from the last eight. 

However, a 66th-minute goal from Junior Sornoza tied things up on aggregate, before Arturo Mina slotted the decisive penalty in the 5-3 shoot-out triumph. 

Pumas were cruising in the first half of the contest, with two goals from Ismael Sosa in the space of three minutes putting them ahead 3-2 on aggregate in front of their home crowd in Mexico City. 

Things went from bad to worse for Ecuadorian outfit Independiente in the second half, after defender Luis Ayala was shown a straight red card for a late foul. 

But the small club from the outskirts of Quito, whose stadium has a capacity of just over 7,000, managed to pull the tie back level thanks to Sornoza’s free-kick magic. 

Both sides could not find the back of the net in the closing stages, meaning the quarter-final would be decided on penalties. 

And it was Independiente who managed to hold their nerve from the spot, converting all five of their penalties as first-half star Sosa saw his effort saved by Daniel Librado Azcona.

Pablo Repetto’s side must now face Boca Juniors in the final four as they look to continue their fairytale run in the competition.

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