Nine-man Junior Barranquilla reach Copa Sudamericana final
Barranquilla, Nov 30: Teofilo Gutierrez scored a goal and was sent off as Junior Barranquilla advanced to the Copa Sudamericana final with a 1-0 victory over their Colombian rivals Santa Fe in an exciting encounter here.
Both teams finished on Thursday with nine men as emotions repeatedly boiled over in hot and humid conditions at the Metropolitano Stadium on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, reports Xinhua news agency.
The result handed Junior a 3-0 win on aggregate after their 2-0 victory in the semifinal first leg in Bogota.
Gutierrez gave the hosts the lead in the 22nd minute by connecting with a Jarlan Barrera cross to rifle in a first-time shot at the near post. The goal was originally ruled out for offside before referee Patricio Laustau overturned the decision after consulting the video assistant referee.
The hosts were reduced to 10 men on the stroke of halftime when Gutierrez was shown a straight red card for hacking down Carlos Arboleda.
They then lost Gabriel Fuentes for a second yellow card just before the hour mark as Santa Fe pressed for an away goal.
But the visitors were also guilty of indiscipline, first losing Arly Rodriguez because of a second caution and then Diego Guastavino, who was shown a straight red card four minutes from time.
Junior will meet Brazil’s Atletico Paranaense in the final, to be played over two legs on December 5 and 12.
The winner of the Copa Sudamericana, South America’s equivalent of the UEFA Europa League, will play in next year’s Copa Libertadores, the region’s top club competition.
Indo Asian News Service
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