(EFE) – Eight minutes from the end of the game, Braian Romero scored the goal that meant the 1-1 draw and ratified the qualification for the second round of the South American Defense and Justice Cup at the expense of Sportivo Luqueño.
The Argentine team dominated the series with a 3-2 aggregate, after the 1-2 victory achieved last Wednesday in the first leg in Asunción.
Emanuel Morales scored the goal for the Paraguayans in the last minute of the first stage, while Romero equalized for the Argentine club in the 82nd minute in the match played at the Noberto Tomaghello stadium.
Defense and Justice will face in the round of 16 the winner of the key that Caracas and Vasco da Gama will later define in the Venezuelan capital, after 1-0 in favor of the Brazilian team in the first leg.
Defense and Justice, who had come to this instance after finishing third in Group G of the Copa Libertadores, is still in the race to emulate or improve his best international performance in 2018 when he reached the quarterfinals of the Copa Sudamericana.
For Sportivo Luqueño, meanwhile, this key marked the end of his fourth participation in the tournament and his ninth international presentation, where in his debut he had left the Venezuelan Mineros de Guayana on the road.
The match was dominated by Sportivo Luqueño at the beginning of the match with a Paraguayan team that sought to get the ball and go in search of a victory as a visitor that they needed to qualify for the round of 16.
With Blas Díaz as the main axis of the game to supply Carlos and Emanuel González, those led by Carlos Paredes had the clearest in a play where Héctor Martínez managed to clear on the line after a good intervention by goalkeeper Ezequiel Unsain.
At minute 25, Defense and Justice were present with a shot from Romero that went very close to the far post of Nicolás Campisi and two minutes later a free kick executed by Marcelo Benítez demanded another intervention from Campisi on the upper right corner.
In the 44th minute a frontal free kick found weak hands from Unsain, who allowed Morales to push the ball into the back of the net and give Sportivo Luqueño the lead.
At the beginning of the second stage, Romero had his second chance in the 52nd minute but again Campisi appeared to drown out the cry of the forward’s goal.
Sportivo Luqueño had the opportunity to score the second goal, which would have been the qualifying goal, in a shot by Díaz that was deflected in the 63rd minute.
Defense and Justice found a lucid Washington Camacho who entered in the 68th minute and in the 82nd he enabled Romero so that with a furious shot he could establish the final 1-1 draw and give peace of mind to those led by Hernán Crespo.