Ecuador Wrap: LDU Quito win to close in on Loja
With the top four teams in Ecuador's Primera A out of action this weekend, LDU Quito and Universidad Catolica took full advantage with their first victories in four matches - with the former snapping a run of three straight draws.
Catolica defeated Manta 1-0 on Saturday, while LDU Quito cruised past Cuenca to claim fifth spot in the table, just one point behind Olmedo and Independiente del Valle, who sit third and fourth respectively.
Cuenca had conceded seven goals in their previous four games and LDU Quito took advantage of the visitors' poor defence on Friday.
LDU Quito hit the front three minutes before half-time when right full-back Jose Madrid was found free in the box and he slammed the ball into the net.
It was 2-0 three minutes into the second-half when Felix Borja reacted first to a mistimed shot from Kevin Mercado, collecting the loose ball near the penalty spot and firing it past Cuenca's hapless goalkeeper.
Enrique Vera completed the home side's win in the 85th minute with a fine finish on the turn after running onto Luis Bolanos' chipped pass over Cuenca's defence.
The win took LDU Quito to 10 points from seven matches, ahead of Catolica and El Nacional, who drew 1-1 with Deportivo Quito.
LDU Loja remain top of the table with 14 points from six games, while Emelec (13 points, five games) sit second ahead of Olmedo and Independiente (both 11 points, six games).
At the Estadio Jocay in Manta, Catolica defeated their hosts thanks to Henry Patta's sharp finish after 11 minutes.
Patta burst into the left-hand side of the penalty area and slid the ball into the net from a tight angle.
The win ended Catolica's run of three losses in a row in the Ecuadorian top flight, while in Guayaquil, Barcelona defeated bottom club Mushuc Runa 3-0 with all goals coming in the first half.
Olmedo and Emelec were set to do battle on Friday, but saw their fixture postponed.