The aptly named Torneo Trancisión kicks off this weekend signalling seventeen rounds of football that will see a champion named at the end without the use of the playoff system. A rare occurrence takes place in the opening round with no matches taking place in the Chilean capital.
At one stage this week it looked like the first week of the Torneo Trancisión would be delayed after a dispute between the players’ union SIFUP (Sindicato de Futbolistas Profesionales de Chile) and the ANFP over the non-payment of players from Palestino and Rangers but fortunately for all fans of Chilean football all has been resolved and the season starts as scheduled.
The season kicks off on Friday night with a double header in the south of the country with Rangers playing host to Audax Italiano in the early game before San Marcos de Arica marks its return to the Primera Division with the unenviable task of taking on Clausura champions Huachipato later that night.
In Saturday’s scheduled opening match Santiago Wanderers playing host to Universidad de Chile, who are now under the tutelage of Darío Franco. At the time of writing it is not known where or whether this match will take place as both the Wanderers’ stadium and their neigbours Everton’s Estadio Sausalito deemed unsafe for the visiting fans.
Whilst they remained in the Primera Division, Unión La Calera finished 2012 in rather poor form and will need to avoid a repeat performance if the don’t want find themselves in Primera B come the end of this season. Their first match of the season is against Antofagasta, who remained out of danger in their return to the Primera Division last year.
The next match features two teams who gained promotion at the end of last year in the form of Ñublense and Everton and it is the former who play host come Saturday night. Both teams will be hoping for a good start to the season to avoid being dragged into any relegation fight. The final match of the day sees Iquique, who come off an impressive debut in the Copa Libertadores, take on Palestino who will look to build on last season’s impressive performance.
Sunday sees two matches in the north of the country as Cobresal and Cobreloa playing host to Unión Española and Colo Colo respectively. The round is brought to an end in Rancagua with O’Higgins doing battle with Universidad Católica.
Primera Division Torneo Transición 2013 , Round one fixtures
Rangers vs. A. Italiano (Fri 19:30, Fiscal de Talca)
Huachipato vs. SM Arica (Fri 22:00, CAP)
S. Wanderers vs. U. de Chile (Sat 16:00, Sausalito)
U. La Calera vs. Antofagasta (Sat 18:30, Nicolás Chahuán)
Ñublense vs. Everton (Sat 21:00, Bicentenario Nelso Oyarzún)
Iquique vs. Palestino (Sat 22:00, Tierra de Campeones)
Cobresal vs. U. Española (Sun 16:00, El Cobre)
Cobreloa vs. Colo Colo (Sun 16:00, Municipal de Calama)
O’Higgins vs. U. Católica (Sun 20:00, El Teniente)