River Plate suffered a shock 2-0 defeat at the hands of Independiente del Valle who finished third in last season’s Ecuadorian Serie A.
In front of a capacity crowd, a meager 8,000 spectators, River never really looked fired up for the encounter.
It enjoyed a slim majority of possession but mustered just two shots on target. Two second half goals stunned the away team, with striker José Angulo firing the ball down the middle, unmarked, from 10 yards out in the 63rd minute.
It seemed as if hot prospect Lucas Alario had equalized for the away team, but his dinked finish was ruled out in the tightest of offside calls.
The striker’s introduction seemed to spark River into some kind of life, but there was no way through on the night.
In the 92nd minute, River defender Jonatan Maidana brought down his counterpart in a terrible challenge just inside the box, and the penalty was confidently converted by 22-year-old midfielder Junior Sornoza to round off a dismal night for the Argentines.
It was a very different story for Boca, despite the barra bravas trying as they may to mar the occasion.
Its trip to Asunción to take on Cerro Porteño ended with a 2-1 victory after goals from Carlos Tévez and Nicolás Lodeiro settled proceedings long before Cecilio Domínguez’s 85th minute penalty.
The Paraguayan’s late goal means it’s in with a vague shout of progressing against Boca, but it’ll have to do it in Buenos Aires.
Tévez opened the scoring before the half-hour mark with a glanced header into the bottom left, before Lodeiro doubled the advantage after a Tévez assist 30 minutes later.
Lodeiro rounded the keeper before finishing into an empty net in a beautifully worked goal.
The Paraguayans managed to snatch one back, after a rash challenge saw defender Daniel Díaz go straight through the back of striker Cecilio Domínguez just inside the box.
The Mexican referee didn’t hesitate in pointing to the spot and Domínguez audaciously chipped the finish over a sprawling keeper.
Boca now stands a fantastic chance of progression, while River will have its work cut out in the return fixture with its deficit.