Two glaring errors from Rojo goalkeeper Adrian Gabbarini let in Paul Ambrosi and Patricio Urrutia, while there was nothing he could do to keep out Miller Bolaños after a flowing attacking move from the home team.
As expected Liga de Quito started on the front foot against a weakened Independiente, who rested Matias Defederico and Patricio Rodriguez in anticipation of a domestic clash at the weekend. Antonio Mohamed prepared a defensive-minded team with a draw clearly in mind, but the Rojo suffered an early scare when Enrique Vera poked a rebounded free kick into the net- only to have his effort ruled out for a clear offside.
Liga did not have to wait long to take the lead. Central defender Paul Ambrosi surged out of defence on the counter attack, and having run the length of the pitch took advantage of a horrible mixup between keeper Adrian Gabbarini and defender Maxi Velazquez to walk the ball into the back of the net.
The Ecuadoreans were dominant, and only another offside flag stopped the scoreline being doubled after more uncertainty at the back from the visitors.
As the half progressed Independiente started to show more fight, with the powerful right boot of Leonel Nuñez appearing their best chance of leveling. The former Bursaspor striker forced a stunning save from Alexander Dominguez at the end of the half with a beautifully struck 40m effort, before firing just over the bar with a free kick minutes later.
Hernan Fredes also went close from the edge of the area, but the Rojo could have no complaints in entering the half time break with the deficit restricted to just one goal.
Quito again started brightly in the second half, and were rewarded with a brilliantly worked goal after 52 minutes. Miller Bolaños played a perfectly executed one-two with Argentine striker Hernan Barcos, and clear of the defence nestled the ball just inside the left hand post. Independiente were now losing their grip on the match but kept probing, a Fredes effort seconds later forcing a save from Dominguez down low.
‘El Turco’ Mohamed attempted to inject more creativity into his toiling side with the introduction of ‘Pato’ Rodriguez at number 10, but the Rojo continued to struggle to break down the hosts and only looked dangerous from long-range.
The Albos meanwhile settled into a comfortable rhythm with the two goal cushion, stroking the ball around the pitch and playing predominately in the Argentines’ half. Bolaños in particular looked commanding on the field as he directed the team from the middle of the park.
The final nail in the coffin came 10 minutes from the end, with Gabbarini again at fault. The goalkeeper got a good hand on Patricio Urrutia’s skidding free kick but let the ball spin out of his grip, and could only watch in horror it it settled in the back of the net to add insult to a painful night in Quito.
Liga’s win means that all four teams in Group 8 are tied on three points after two games, with Quito and Independiente occupying the top places by virtue of a superior goal difference. Mohamed’s team next face a tough all-Argentina clash at home to Godoy Cruz, while the Ecuadoreans visit Uruguayan giants Peñarol.