Soccer-Veron on target to help Estudiantes sink Botafogo

BUENOS AIRES, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron was on target as Estudiantes beat Botafogo 2-0 in the first leg of their Copa Sudamericana quarter-final on Tuesday despite having a player sent off early in the game.

The Argentines were reduced to 10 men after only 18 minutes when defender Agustin Alayes was dismissed for a second yellow card, awarded for a foul on Wellington Paulista.

Botafogo should have gone ahead in first half stoppage-time but Wellington Paulista missed an open goal after rounding the goalkeeper.

Instead, the Brazilians, beaten 4-2 by nine-man River Plate on their previous visit to Argentina last year, fell behind in the 56th minute when goalkeeper Juan Castillo mis-judged a corner and Mauro Boselli scored at the far post.

Former Manchester United and Lazio midfielder Veron rifled in a second six minutes later with a shot from outside the penalty area.

Two minutes later, Botafogo captain Tulio was sent off, apparently for something he said to referee Carlos Amarilla.

The tournament is the region’s equivalent of Europe’s UEFA Cup.

Reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ed Osmond