After losing 3-1 away in Bolivia, Vasco da Gama had a bit of a mountain to climb to advance to the quarterfinal round of the 2011 Copa Sudamericana. With a massive domestic clash against Sao Paulo coming up on the weekend, they could hardly be blamed if they decided to rest their stars. Instead, they brought out most of their first choice players and put on a show, defeating Aurora 8-3 in a wild match, winning the tie 9-6 on aggregate.
Bernardo scored the opener just eight minutes in for Vasco with a top-shelf goal, dribbling and doing a Cruyff turn through two defenders before ripping a shot into the roof of the net from 10 yards out. Vasco were down just 3-2 at that point, and suddenly had life. However, Augusto Andaveris scored in the 16th minute for Aurora, seemingly giving Vasco little chance to mount a comeback.
Later in the first half, the match was completely turned on its head when Aurora's Gonzalo Germán Galindo was correctly sent off for picking up a second yellow card on a bad challenge. He protested furiously, despite the fact that the challenge that got him the second yellow could have very easily been worthy of a straight red. Prior to that, Vasco had missed three golden chances to score other than Bernardo's goal. They suddenly became slight favorites to advance, and no one would have been surprised if they scored three or four goals between this point and the end of the match. Instead, they scored seven.
Vasco's second came on the free kick following the sending off, with Vasco and Olympique Lyonnais legend Juninho Pernambucano delivering a perfect free kick into the penalty area for Alecsandro to head into the back of the net. He added a second goal just before halftime, heading in a cross from left back Julinho. The teams went into the locker room tied 4-4 on aggregate and away goals, with seven more goals still to come.
The home side took the lead in the series in the 48th minute when Leandro put in a goal off of a great flick by Alecsandro, and from then on, it was all just for fun. A penalty by Juninho and a penalty by Diomedes Peña of Aurora followed, with Juninho hilariously denying Alecsandro a hat trick opportunity by taking the ball away from him in the former instance. Bernardo, Douglas and Allan scored the remaining open play goals for Vasco, while Ronald Segovia netted for Aurora.
Vasco now moves on to face Peruvian side Universitario, who defeated Godoy Cruz on penalty kicks.