Independiente draw sends Penarol through

BUENOS AIRES - Record champions Independiente's chances of reaching the Libertadores Cup knockout phase hung by a thread after a 1-1 draw at home against LDU Quito that handed Penarol their qualification on Tuesday.

Striker Leonel Nunez gave the Argentine side the lead midway through the first half when he converted a penalty but an own goal by defender Julian Velazquez from a low cross by LDU striker Hernan Barcos handed the Ecuadorean side a point.

"It was a strange and difficult match. They were awarded a doubtful penalty but we managed to take at least a point which is what we were looking for," Argentine Barcos, voted man of the match, told Fox Sports.

Independiente, who won the seventh of their titles in 1984, are bottom of the group with five points from five matches, four points behind Uruguayan leaders Penarol with LDU and Argentina's Godoy Cruz both on seven.

To snatch a berth in the last 16 next Tuesday, Independiente need a massive victory away to Penarol in Montevideo and hope 2008 champions LDU and debutants Godoy Cruz draw in Quito.

If there is a winner in the match in Quito, where LDU hold an advantage in the rarefied air 2,800 metres above sea level, that winner would finish top of the group with 10 points and go through with Penarol whatever happens in Montevideo.