Thursday night’s Copa Libertadores match between Independiente del Valle and San Lorenzo ended on an ugly note when riot police had to rush the pitch to stop players from attacking the referee.
The commotion was sparked when a last-second penalty was awarded to Ecuadorian side Independiente. The Argentinian visitors San Lorenzo were clinging to a 1-0 lead. Once Junior Sornoza converted from the spot for an improbable, last-gasp point, the livid San Lorenzo players swarmed around the match officials, forcing riot police into action.
The impact of the penalty decision can’t be understated. Due to the late equalizer, the two sides now both sit on five points in their Copa Libertadores group, with just one match-day remaining. A win would have given San Lorenzo a good chance to advance to the next round, but the draw kept them behind Independiente in last place.