BUENOS AIRES, Sep 23 (Reuters) – Nacional de Montevideo became the first team to qualify for the Copa Libertadores round of 16 on Tuesday by beating Estudiantes de Mérida 3-1 as a visitor, on a day that had goals from River Plate and Junior from Barranquilla.
The Uruguayan team, which a week ago beat Racing Club also as a visitor in the resumption of the competition after the pandemic, leads Group F with an ideal score after four disputed dates, for which they secured a place between the two qualifiers to the next round.
Nacional’s goals were scored twice by young forward Thiago Vecino and Renzo Orihuela, while Ronaldo Rivas scored the only goal for Estudiantes.
“I am very happy with how the team has matured,” said coach Gustavo Munúa after the victory against the Venezuelan team.
For Group A, Flamengo beat Barcelona from Ecuador 2-1 as a visitor thanks to goals from Guilherme and Uruguayan Giorgian de Arrascaeta. Argentine Leandro Martínez scored for the Ecuadorian team.
In the other group match, Junior thrashed 4-1 at Independiente del Valle with a hat trick from Carmelo Valencia and a goal from Fredy Hinestroza, while Gabriel Torres scored for the defeated team.
In Group D, River Plate beat Binacional de Peru 6-0 as a visitor with goals from Lucas Pratto (2), Matías Suárez, Uruguayan Nicolás De la Cruz, Julián Álvarez and Ignacio Fernández.
For its part, for the same group, Liga de Quito beat San Pablo 4-2 at home.
Meanwhile, in a match corresponding to Group B, Tigre and Bolívar equaled 1-1.
(Reporting by Ramiro Scandolo; edited by Tomás Cobos)