Copa Libertadores 2018: Evaluating the first qualifying stage

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Oriente Petrolero (Bolivia)

The home team won each match in the two legs pitting Bolivia’s Oriente Petrolero against Peru’s Universitario. In the first leg, the Bolivian club prevailed 2-0 at home in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Ronaldo Sánchez poached a first-half goal for the hosts. Maximiliano Freitas added a second goal less than 15 minutes before the final whistle.

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On the return leg at Estadio Monumental in Lima, Universitario poured on the offense. The Peruvians got on the scoreboard in the seventh minute as Aldo Corzo nodded a header past Alejandro Gómez. Corzo added a second header in the 60th minute, and Daniel Chávez put La U ahead on aggregate five minutes later.

Oriente Petrolero, though, still had energy in reserve. The goal that put the Bolivians through on away goals, though, came from an unlikely source. Center-back Jorge Paredes turned around fortunes for the visitors less than a month after signing with the club, scoring the go-ahead goal in the 84th minute.

Now Oriente Petrolero must prepare for an all-Bolivian showdown in the second qualifying stage. Their opponents in the next round are domestic rivals Jorge Wilstermann. The two sides have played 30 times, with Oriente Petrolero enjoying a 13-8-9 advantage all time in the series.