Copa Libertadores 2013 – Iquique hang in, Huachipato struggle plus domestic action

Futbol, Deportes Iquique vs Emelec

The games just keep on coming. Torneo 2013, Copa Libertadores, Torneo 2013, Copa Libertadores, Torneo 2013, Copa Libertadores.

However, that sequence could be coming to an end for Huachipato who fell to their second defeat in three group games to leave los acerceros on three points. Meanwhile, Deportes Iquique clung on to their chances of progressing by picking up their first three points in the opening three games.

Both sit outside the top two of their group and have already played two home games, meaning it will take one or two momentous performances in the remaining three games to have any chance of qualification to the knockout stages.

There was also the added bonus of a domestic game as Santiago Wanderers welcomed Universidad de Chile to the Estadio Municipal Lucio Fariña Fernández in Quillota – the rearranged game from the opening round of fixtures.

Iquique 2-0 Emelec

Iquique came into the game on the back of four straight defeats as Crisitán Díaz struggled to come up with a system that got the best out an array of attacking talents.

Against the Ecuadorians he removed three of the usual four forwards that start as the home side opted for a conservative approach. What transpired was a similar encounter to the one witnessed in the Champions League between AC Milan and Barcelona. The home side ceded possession to remain compact and deep in a 4-4-1-1 system; cautioned without the ball, careful with it.

Emelec nearly got off to the perfect start but Marcos Mondiani saw his goal bound shot diverted over the ball by the foot of Rodrigo Naranjo after positive wing play by Marcos Caicedo. From the resultant corner a header came back off the post.

That was as good as it got for the visitors as los dragones celeste scored twice in seven minutes.

Mauricio Zenteno and Álvaro Ormeño played a one-two with the ‘two’ an incisive pass to send Ormeño scurrying into the box. Just as most expected him to go for glory he coolly played the ball to his left for Sebastián Ereros finish into the empty net.

The second was less methodical, owing more to Manuel Villalobos’s physicality. An Ormeño clip over the top was chased down by the stocky number 11. Using his strength he outmuscled Gabriel Achilier before using his skill to go inside José Quiñónez before sliding a shot into the bottom corner.

At that point bets all around the world were left in tatters.

The way Iquique have been playing of late it would have been foolish to say the game was over. But with hindsight it was. Emelec came closest with an effort from the edge of the box which drifted wide of the post.

Not only does the win keep Iquique’s slender hopes of qualification in place but it proved a tactical victory for Díaz. Removing the influential but often mercurial duo of Rodrigo Díaz and Edson Puch from the starting line-up and opting for a hard-working and compact team proved an astute move. The busy Villalobos was joined by the equally energetic Ereros, while Misael Dávila and Ormeño offered width in an attacking sense and protection to their full-backs in the wide area. Fernando Manríuez and Zenteno patrolled the midfield making sure there was little space between them and the defence which stayed in position and resolute throughout the game.

Huachipato 1-2 Fluminense

Huachipato had already dispatched a star-studded Brazilian team possessing Eduardo Vargas, Cris, Hernán Barcos, Zé Roberto, Elano and André Santos (quiet you lot laughing up the back).

Could they make it a double against a Fluminense side with Deco, Fred and Thiago Neves, while Rafael Sobis couldn’t even get on the pitch?

It not look like they would follow their feat against Grêmio as Fred went close before Wellington hit the post.

However, the hero of Grêmio, Braian Rodríguez gave los acerceros a surprise lead in injury time of the first half. Left-back Nicolás Crovetto, unsurprisingly in an attacking position, moved onto his right foot to deliver a pass for the rangy Uruguayan striker to superbly take down with his right foot before blasting past ex-Liverpool goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri with his left.

Huachipato were only able to hold on for 20 minutes of the second half as the Brazilians started to showcase their superior ability with a smooth move that saw Fred chest down for Wellington to leave Nery Veloso with little chance with a ferocious shot into the roof of the net.

There was only going to be one team that would win, but the way it come will hurt Jorge Pellicer as their own slapstick defending was their downfall. Carlos Labrín could only side foot Wellington’s centre into the middle of the box where José Contreras confused himself, unable to get the ball out of his feet. Wellington poked the ball away for substitute Wagner to flash a shot past Veloso.

Next up for Huachipato is an interesting home fixture against Deportes Iquique in the league before they travel to Rio on Thursday for the rematch.

Santiago Wanderers 2-1 Universidad de Chile

After all the talk of a crisis at Universidad de Chile and the myopic views that it wasn’t working under Darío Franco La U could have went fourth – three points of the summit – if they defeated Santiago Wanderers on Wednesday.

The original fixture was meant for the opening game of the season but due to some logistical issues the game was postponed.

La U came into the game on the back of a 6-1 destruction of San Marcos de Arica, while el decano had defeated Iquique for their first win of the season. Yet, both sides seemed short on confidence in a tepid rubbish first half.

The only real interest saw both goalkeepers fumble long range shots and Franco sent to the stand for what seemed an over the top complaint about an innocuous foul. Or throw-in. Something so small that this writer can’t even remember what it was for.

The game was given a jolt of life just before the hour mark as 18-year-old Andrés Robles beat Sebastián Martínez to a corner and headed Wanderers into the lead.

A lead that last 10 minutes as Isaac Díaz spun on the edge of the box and flashed a shot past Mauricio Viana into the bottom corner for his first goal of the Torneo 2013. The goal followed the best move of the match when a Gustavo Lorenzetti, on as a sub, linked up with fellow Argentine Ramon Fernández for the latter to play in Roberto Cerceda but left-back could not score with two attempts.

Boris Sandoval would show him how it is done on the 80th minute mark. La U went to sleep as the left-back powered into the box, hitting the bar after being laid in and he was again the quickest to react as he headed in the rebound to give Wanderers and Ivo Basay – formerly of Colo Colo – a significant victory.

Viana would only be troubled when Díaz ran in to him as he ran down the clock. He crumpled to the ground as if he had just encountered a rhinoceros. Díaz was harshly sent off and passions began to overflow as Jorge Ormeño took joy in winding up the majority of La U players.

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