Nacional edge in front, Universitario win derby
Nacional beat Defensor Sporting 2-1 in the first leg of Uruguay's title decider while in Peru, Universitario beat Alianza by the same score in the Lima derby at the weekend.
Emelec finished top of the first phase of the Ecuadorean championship.
There were two red cards before any goals in the first leg of the Uruguayan 2008/09 championship title decider when Defensor Sporting keeper and Nacional striker Alexander Medina collided in the box and fought, both being sent off, on the stroke of halftime.
Defensor went ahead in the 65th minute with a long range drive from defender Pablo Pintos but Nacional beat their substitute goalkeeper Fernando Rodriguez twice in the last 13 minutes.
Centre back Sebastian Coates headed home a corner in the 77th and substitute Gustavo Biscayzacu shot home the winner from a narrow angle in the 86th. The second leg is on Wednesday.
In Peru, leaders Universitario scored with two headers from free kicks by Nolberto Solano in the last 10 minutes to beat Alianza 2-1 and go six points clear in the standings.
Universitario have 42 points from 21 matches, while Sport Huancayo ended Cienciano's unbeaten home record with a 3-0 win in Cuzco to go second, equal on 36 points with Juan Aurich and Alianza.
Alianza took a seventh-minute lead when Alexander Sanchez's long range drive was parried by Universitario keeper Francisco Bazan and Jose Fernandez netted the rebound.
However, Alianza lost their best player, Colombia Jhonnier Montano, to injury 10 minutes into the second half.
Former English Premier Legaue player Solano's free kicks then laid on Universitario's equaliser for Gianfranco Labarthe in the 80th minute and their winner seven minutes later for substitute striker Piero Alva.
In Ecuador, Emelec scored three minutes into stoppage time through Argentine Franco Mendoza to beat Liga de Portoviejo 2-1 away and finish top of the 22-match first phase of the championship by one point from LDU Quito.
The two teams qualified for the final stage along with third-placed Macara and Olmedo in fourth. Emelec take three bonus points with them, LDU two and Macara one. The second phase which now follows will produce another four finalists.
Olmedo scraped through on goal difference from Espoli despite losing 3-2 at home to LDU and will take no bonus point with them.
Walter Calderon scored twice for LDU as they went 3-0 up but was sent off 15 minutes from time and Olmedo pulled two back in the last 13 minutes.
Deportivo Cuenca, known as the Police, had three players sent off in the last 21 minutes of their foul-riddled 1-0 home defeat by Espoli. Hector Carabali netted a 45th-minute free kick, becoming the first goalkeeper to score a goal in open play in Ecuador.
In Colombia, newly-crowned Apertura champions Once Caldas made a winning start to the Clausura tournament, beating Pereira 1-0 with a goal by Dayron Perez. Pereira had Julian Barahona sent off after 64 minutes.
Atletico Junior, beaten by Caldas in the Apertura final last month, went down 3-1 away to Millonarios in Bogota. Defender Ruben Dario Bustos scored twice for Millonarios.
In Argentina, Franco Niell scored twice in the last two minutes to save Gimnasia-La Plata from relegation in the 2008/9 season playoffs. His goals gave nine-man Gimnasia a 3-0 win away to National B division (second tier) Atletico Rafaela.
The 3-3 aggregate result following Aldo Visconti's hat-trick for Rafaela in the first leg last week was enough for Gimnasia to survive. Rafaela needed to win the tie to gain promotion.
The teams had a player each sent off in the 57th minute but Gimnasia had another, Roberto Soda, dismissed in the 85th when they were still two goals short of survival.
Former Valencia and Inter Milan winger Kily Gonzalez's Rosario Central also survived in the top flight with a 1-1 draw at Belgrano in Cordoba to win their tie 2-1 on aggregate.