FLORENCE, Italy – Argentinian giants Independiente finally found form as they overcame Uruguayan side Liverpool 2-1 in the first leg of their Copa Sudamericana last-16 tie.
Americo Ruben Gallego's Independiente, who are fighting against relegation in their domestic league, claimed an important victory despite resting some of their usual starters.
Fabian Vargas put the Red Devils ahead in the seventh minute, after his shot deflected in off Liverpool defender Lucas Tamareo.
Four minutes after the break, Paulo Rosales doubled the lead for Independiente, but Carlos Nunez reduced the gap at the 86th minute on the counter-attack, giving his side hope for the second leg.
Independiente, who won the Copa Sudamericana in 2010, ended a 17-match winless streak in the Copa Sudamericana and the domestic league.
Coach Gallego's happiness with the win was slightly tempered by Liverpool's late goal.
"It was a fair win for us, but they shot twice and scored one goal," he said.
Rosales told Fox Sports: "It was quite controlled, but this is football and you pay a high price for mistakes.
"Now it's time to wait for the return game in Montevideo. I hope this win can help us recover our form."
Nunez is hopeful of progressing despite the defeat.
"We must keep working hard," he said. "We are disappointed by the defeat, but we lost against a good team.
"The goal I scored is very important, but we must keep working hard."
The second leg will be played on October 25 and the winners will face Chile's Universidad Catolica or Atletico Goianiense of Brazil.
Meanwhile in Ecuador, Deportivo Quito claimed a 2-0 win over Argentinian side Tigre.
A long-distance shot by Juan-Gonzalo Lorca put Ruben Dario Insua's Deportivo Quito ahead in the 53rd minute but the team was hampered by the red card shown to Isaac Mina 10 minutes later for hitting Diego Ftacla.
In the 64th minute, though, Tigre midfielder Matias Escobar was shown red too and Uruguayan Mauro Vila consolidated the win by finishing a Lorca assist with four minutes remaining in the game.
Lorca told Fox Sports: "In the second half, we played better, the goals came and we built even more opportunities. We are happy for the team victory.
"We know what Tigre means. They played a great first half and are tough rivals. We hope we can take advantage of this lead in Argentina."
The second leg will be played on October 25, with the winners meeting Argentina's Colon or Paraguayan side Cerro Porteno.