Christian Aleman struck just after the half-hour mark for the Ecuadorian outfit, who looked to be in control before Yefferson Mena was dismissed after a second caution for a bad foul.
Referee Jesus Valenzuela pointed to the spot two minutes from time after a Xavier Arreaga handball and Sassa, who was introduced in the 65th minute, coolly converted the penalty.
Com Sassá decisivo, Glorioso arranca empate no Equador e segue na liderança do Grupo A. Leia!https://t.co/WGZL0bSSRv
— Botafogo F.R. (@BotafogoOficial) April 21, 2017
The result at the Monumental stadium lifted Botafogo to the top of Group A with seven points from three matches, ahead of Barcelona de Guayaquil on goal difference.
In other matches on Thursday, Argentina’s Godoy Cruz won 2-0 at home to Sport Boys Warnes of Peru, Brazil’s Gremio drew 1-1 at Club Guarani of Paraguay and Independiente Medellin of Colombia won 2-0 at home to Melgar of Peru.