Junior qualified for the next stage of the Colombian soccer Primera A after they inflicted a first defeat in 14 games on Atletico Nacional with a 1-0 win in Barranquilla.
Ivan Velez grabbed what proved to be the winner seven minutes after the break and despite the visitors piling on the pressure late on, with two attempts which hit the woodwork, Junior managed to hold on and become the first team to take all three points from Nacional since the end of July.
The victory meant that Junior move up to second place in the POSTOBON II and closed the gap on Millonarios to just two points after the league leaders fell to a defeat at Deportivo Pasto.
The Bogota-based club paid the penalty for fielding a hugely inexperienced side and were comprehensively beaten thanks to goals from Wilson Galeano, Gilberto Garcia and Edwards Jimenez. Erik Moreno notched a consolation for the visitors.
For Deportivo Pasto the victory consolidates their place in the top eight while Millonarios will now turn their attention to a midweek South America clash with Brazilian outfit Gremio.
It was a good weekend for La Equidad who secured qualification into the last eight with a 1-0 victory over Once Caldas in the Friday kick off.
In a game of few chances Flavio Cordova turned out to be the match-winner when he headed home from a tight angle in the sixth minute. Both sides failed to find any rhythm thereafter but the hosts won’t care as they got the three points which guarantees their passage into the next round.
One team who missed the opportunity of climbing into the top eight was Independiente Medellin following a 1-1 draw with Cucuta Deportivo on Saturday.
It could have been worse for Medellin as they fell behind in the first half when Juan Camilo Angulo scored. Sebastian Hernandez rescued a point for the hosts when he netted shortly after the break but the result now means Medellin need two positive results from their remaining fixtures to qualify for the next stage.
Elsewhere reigning champions Santa Fe kept their faint dreams alive of reaching the top eight after a 1-0 win over Deportivio Cali.
Luis Carlos Arias was the hero with a goal immediately after the break which was enough to earn the victory, Santa Fe’s second in three games, and maintain their quest of an unlikely turnaround.
In other fixtures, high-flying Itagui suffered a surprise defeat at lowly Patriotas Boyaca, while Boyaca Chico kept themselves in the hunt for a top-eight finish after a 0-0 draw at Envigado.