Atletico Junior’s championship aspirations suffered a big blow on Saturday, as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Pereira. Deportes Tolima drew 1-1 with Atletico Huila in the other group of the second round.
The Group A clash between Junior and Pereira had most pressure on the home side, who are in a battle for first place with Medellin. Pereira, having lost both of their first two games, no longer seem to be realistic candidiates for a spot in the final.
All of the goal action took place in the second half, with Braynner Garcia putting Junior ahead in the 52nd minute.
A Carlos Preciado strike levelled the score four minutes later, but Junior were then given a penalty that was converted by Teofilo Gutierrez on the hour.
Junior would not hold on to that lead however, as Jorge Casanova headed the ball past his own goalkeeper in the 91st minute, 2-2.
Medellin now have the chance to take the sole lead in Group A, but will need to win their match at Real Cartagena on Sunday.
Deportes Tolima collected their first point in the group phase, but could have done much better in the home match with Atletico Huila.
The ‘Pijaos’ took the lead with a well-performed free kick from Rodrigo Marangoni in the 66th minute, although the scorer was sent off for a different incident one minute later.
Huila never gave up and drew level through Ivan Velasquez with six minutes to go.
Tolima could have secured the win from the spot kick in extra time, but Gerardo Vallejo saw his effort saved by keeper Luis Estacio, who was again in the way when Vallejo struck on the rebound.
In the moments between the foul and the penalty, Huila scorer Ivan Velasquez was sent off by referee Adrian Velez.