Junior Barranquilla reached the Copa Sudamericana final for the first time with a 1-0 victory over their rivals Santa Fe in a thrilling second leg semifinal on Thursday. The result of the game in Barranquilla’s Metropolitano stadium means Junior won 3-0 on aggregate and qualified for the final.
Teofilo Gutierrez netted the lone goal of the night in the 23th minute when his chest pushed the ball at the near post from Jarlan Barrera’s cross.
The hosts were reduced to 10 men just before the halftime when Gutierrez was sent off for pushing down Carlos Arboleda. However, the slow motion of the footage showed there was hardly any contact between the two players.
In the second half, Junior’s defender Gabriel Fuentes was shown a red card after he received a second yellow card of the game.
Both teams finished with nine men as the visitors also lost Arly Rodriguez because of a second caution. He was followed by Diego Guastavino with a straight red card.
Junior will meet Brazil's Atletico Paranaense, another first-timer, in the final to be played over two legs on December 5 and 12. Atletico defeated Fluminense 2-0 on Wednesday and 4-0 on aggregate.
CONMEBOL Copa Sudamericana is South America's second largest tournament and it is equivalent to the UEFA Europa League. The winner of the competition will play in next year's Copa Libertadores, the region's top club competition.