Action returned to the Primera Division after a break for the World Cup qualifiers with Unión Española moving to outright top with a win over Iquique whilst Colo Colo’s season went from bad to worse after crowd violence ended their match against Audax Italiano.
The round started on Thursday night and we got one of those rare things in Chilean football – a scoreless draw as neither Rangers or Santiago Wanderers could find the back of the net over ninety minutes in the Fiscal de Talca.
Wanderers dominated much of the early proceedings with leading goalscorer Matías Donoso looking particularly dangerous. However Rangers managed to work their way back into the game and even had the best chance of the half courtesy of Diego Martínez, whose effort came back off the post. It was more of the same in the second half with both teams failing to convert their chances. The drama didn’t end at the final whistle though as Rangers’ larger than life goalkeeper Nicolás Peric managed to get himself sent off.
The result leaves Wanderers still on the precipice of relegation on the Coeficiente de Rendimiento table whilst for Rangers they comfortably sit mid-table.
Saturday’s first match saw Unión Española extend their winning streak to three games after they defeated Iquique 1-0 in the Estadio Santa Laura.
After dispensing with Cristián Díaz’s services a few weeks back this was new manager, and former Claudio Borghi assistant, Jaime Vera’s first game in charge of Iquique. For the most part it appeared that Unión Española would continue their form from their midweek Copa Chile clash where they spurned a number of chances in a 0-0 draw with Universidad de Chile. Fortunately for la furia roja, Patricio Rubio popped up in the 76th minute to score his fifth goal of the season and ensured that they maintain their position at the top of the table. For Iquique the result means that they are well and truly ensconced at the wrong end of the table in second last position.
In Saturday’s next match O’Higgins suffered only their second loss of the season and their first since round one as they went down 2-0 to Everton.
In what was a fairly even first half it was Everton, who came into the match off the back of consecutive losses, who had the better chances but they couldn’t find a way through one of the league’s meanest defences. After the break it was O’Higgins who had their chances through Pablo Calandria and Gonzalo Barriga but eventually it was the home side who found the back of the net in the 81st and 92nd minutes courtesy of Diego Barrios and José Luis Muñoz which saw Everton pick up their fourth win of the season and move into outright sixth in the table. As for O’Higgins the loss sees them drop to third on the table, three points behind league leaders, Unión Española.
Universidad de Chile extended their unbeaten run over Cobreloa to fourteen matches after the two teams shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw in the Estadio Nacional.
In what was an entertaining encounter both goals came in the last 15 minutes of the match with Marco Sebastián Pol moving to the top of the goalscoring charts with his seventh goal of the season in the 77th minute before Sebastián Ubilla equalised seven minutes later courtesy of a deflection. The result leaves both teams on 17 points in fourth and fifth place on the table with La U ahead due to the fact they have won more games.
Whilst it isn’t as impressive as La U’s unbeaten record over Cobreloa, Huachipato made it five wins in a row over Ñublense with an impressive 3-0 victory in Saturday’s penultimate match.
In what was a confidence booster ahead of their midweek Copa Libertadores encounter against Caracas, goals for José Contreras in the 39th minute, Nicolás Crovetto in the 73rd minute and a 79th minute penalty to Braian Rodriguez ensured that Huachipato picked up their third win of the season. The win sees Huachipato move up to 11th whilst the loss sees Ñublense drop to eighth in the table.
In their first ever encounter in the Primera Division, San Marcos de Arica and Unión La Calera shared the spoils with a goal apiece in Saturday’s final match, a result that was in stark contrast to their previous high scoring encounters in the Primera B.
Whilst the first half was scoreless it wasn’t without incident as both teams were reduced to ten men in the 37th minute as José Pedrozo (SMA) and Leandro Benegas (ULC) were both given their marching orders by referee Claudio Aranda after a heated altercation.
San Marcos were first to get on the scoreboard in the first minute of the second half courtesy of their leading goalscorer Francisco Ibañez before Ruben Farfán equalised for La Calera twenty minutes later. The result still sees San Marcos remain rooted to the bottom of the Coeficiente de Rendimiento table with it looking increasingly likely that they will be returning to Primera B whilst Unión La Calera move up to seventh on the regular season table.
Another team that is sitting at the wrong end of the Coeficiente de Rendimiento table is Cobresal, and after a 2-1 loss to Universidad Católica in the Estadio El Cobre on Sunday it very much looks like they won’t be escaping it anytime soon.
Los mineros got off to the start they wanted after Ever Cantero opened the scoring after only four minutes but this advantage was soon wiped as Matías Mier equalised for los cruzados five minutes later. The Uruguayan then scored what was to be the winner in the 34th minute and whilst Cobresal pressed for an equaliser in the second half it never eventuated. The win sees Universidad Católica move into second on the table whilst Cobresal, who are yet to pick up a win this season, sit third last in the Coeficiente de Rendimiento table.
Residing with San Marcos de Arica and Cobresal in the bottom three of the Coeficiente de Rendimiento table is Antofagasta and like their fellow northerners, Cobresal, they lost to Santiguan opposition going down 2-1 in the Estadio Bicentenario Regional in what was an unhappy start for the home side in their newly renovated stadium.
Sergio López opened the scoring for Palestino in the 27th minute before Luis Valenzuela equalised for Antofagasta five minutes before the end of the first half. Alejandro Contreras secured all three points for the visitors in the 68th minute ensuring that Palestino would secure their third successive win and would remain unbeaten in their last four, a significant turnaround from what as a very ordinary start to the season.
Colo Colo’s season went from bad to worse after their match against Audax Italiano was awarded to their opponents after the match was suspended after 57 minutes after a linesman was hit by an object thrown by Colo Colo fans.
What may have prompted the missile was that los albos were down 3-1 on the scoreboard courtesy of Sebastián Saez’s hat-trick which came within the first 27 minutes of the opening whistle. Colo Colo’s solitary goal came on the stroke of half time via Gonzalo Fierro from the penalty spot. The result sees Colo Colo drop to 11th position whilst Audax move to 13th with only their second win of the season.
Primera Division Torneo Transición 2013 , Round nine fixtures
Rangers 0-0 S. Wanderers
U. Española 1-0 Iquique (P. Rubio (UE) 76’)
Everton 2-0 O’Higgins (D. Barrios (EVE) 81’, J.L. Muñoz (EVE) 90+2’)
U. de Chile 1-1 Cobreloa (M.S. Pol 77’ (CBA), S. Ubilla (UDC) 84’)
Ñublense 0-3 Huachipato (J. Contreras (HU) 39’, N. Crovetto 73’ (HU), B. Rodríguez (HU) 79’)
SM Arica 1-1 U. La Calera (F. Ibáñez 46′(SMA), R. Farfán (ULC) 66’)
Cobresal 1-2 U. Católica (E. Cantero (CBS) 3’, M. Mier (UC) 9’ & 34′)
Antofagasta 1-2 Palestino (S. López (PAL) 27′, L. Valenzuela (ANT) 40′, A. Contreras (PAL) 68′)
Audax Italiano 3-1 Colo Colo (S. Saez (AI) 10′, 19′ & 27′, G. Fierro (CC) 45′)