While some teams occasionally play weakened teams for Copa Sudamericana, especially those in domestic title chases, Flamengo opted to play their first choice side against Universidad de Chile on Wednesday night. Former World Player of the year Ronaldinho, former Fenerbahce star Deivid, and a host of other first choice players took the field at home against La U, but they certainly didn't play like a first choice side. The visitors easily wiped the floor with their opponents, winning 4-0 to all but seal a place in the quarterfinals against Arsenal de Sarandi. Incredibly, the score should have been worse.
Universidad de Chile managed five shots in the opening 13 minutes of the game, eventually scoring on a terrible error by Flamengo keeper Julio Cesar. Jose Rojas hit the crossbar with an effort, but Cesar couldn't clear the ball away as it went into the goal on his attempt, going down as an own goal.
La U controlled the rest of the first half, but didn't find their second goal until the 41st minute. Vargas had a goal incorrectly disallowed for offside, while Julio Cesar recovered from his previous error to make a couple of impressive saves. Flamengo never really looked like they had hope of getting back into the game, but Airton completely shattered any hope that might have existed when he was sent off in the 26th minute. The red card came for a dangerous studs-up challenge on Osvaldo Gonzalez, and while Flamengo surrounded the referee in protest, it would be hard to argue that he didn't make the correct call.
It took until the very end of the second half before La U would find another goal, and when they did, they scored two in quick succession. Vargas finished a close-range effort, assisted by Rojas for his team's second goal of the match in the 41st minute. Vargas would score again in similar fashion just two minutes later, with Souza da Silva providing the 43rd minute assist. That send Universidad de Chile into the locker room up 3-0, and that scoreline was flattering to the hosts.
Things looked like they might get interesting when La U's Francisco Castro was shown a straight red card in the 50th minute, but their dominance remained. Charles Aránguiz won a penalty in the 61st minute when he was fouled in the box by David, but Matías Nicolas Rodríguez failed to convert the penalty for the Blues. Rodriguez would redeem himself nine minutes later, setting up Gustavo Lorenzetti in the 71st minute for his team's fourth and final goal of the match.
Over their last 15 matches in both the Chilean Primera Division and Copa Sudamericana, Jorge Sampaoli's side are undefeated with 13 wins and two draws, both of which came in domestic play. They're undoubtedly one of the best teams outside of Europe at the moment, while Flamengo look nothing like a team that can challenge Corinthians and Vasco de Gama for a title in Brazil.