Week 11 saw the title race again tighten up as wins for O’Higgins, Universidad de Chile and Universidad Católica reduced the lead of Unión Española to three points after la furia roja were held scoreless in an uninspiring draw with Cobreloa. Meanwhile at the other end of the table the triumvirate of Cobresal, San Marcos Arica and Antofagasta were unable to do anything to alleviate their relegation fears.
In the round’s opening match Huachipato prepared for its crunch Copa Libertadores match against Gremio with a pulsating 3-3 draw away to Antofagasta in the Estadio Bicentenario Calvo y Bascuñán.
In an opening period where chances were scarce, Huachipato went into the half time break with a two goal advantage after two goals from Federico Falcone in the dying moments of the half. Antofagasta, who are well and truly entrenched in a relegation battle, made three changes at the break and it appeared to have the necessary effect as Javier Elizondo scored goals in the 48th and 60th minutes to level things up. With seven minutes remaining on the clock Felipe Reynero put the Clausura champions back in the lead before Javier Elizondo completed his hat-trick four minutes later to ensure that the points would be shared.
It was billed as one of the matches of the round but Saturday’s opening match between Unión Española and Cobreloa in the Estadio Santa Laura ended up being a rather uninspiring scoreless draw.
The first half was a tight affair with neither team creating a clear cut chances. José Luis Sierra’s team dominated much of the possession whilst Cobreloa were rely on the speed of their forwards as they played on the counter attack. The best chance of the half came courtesy of Unión’s Nicolás Berardo in the 21st minute as he was put through by Patricio Rubio but his shot was held be Cobreloa ‘keeper Luciano Palos. After the break Sierra introduced Peruvian winger Cristián Cueva to give his side a bit more attack in attack whilst Marco Sebastián Pol was Cobreloa’s greatest attacking threat. It was la furia roja who again had the best chance of the half as Gustavo Canales hit the post with a powerful shot in the 77th minute with the rebound falling to Francisco Castro who was unable to get a shot off. The result sees Unión Española maintain their position at the top of the table but their lead has been cut to three following other results whilst Cobreloa remain in fifth.
Iquique’s disastrous season continued in Saturday’s second game as the lost 3-1 to Audax Italiano in the Estadio Bicentenario La Florida, making it their seventh loss in their last eight matches in the Primera Division.
Audax Italiano opened the scoring before the half hour mark courtesy of veteran Rafael Olarra before Iquique equalised via Misael Davila shortly after the half time break. The goal proved to be a false dawn as los italicos continued to pepper the goal of Rodrigo Naranjo and goals to Diego Vallejos and Sebastián Sáez in the 67th and 73rd minutes respectively saw them run out comfortable 3-1 winners. It was Sáez’s seventh goal in three matches and he remains top of the goal scoring charts. The loss sees Iquique remain in second last position on the table sandwiched in between Cobresal and Audax Italiano whilst Audax move up to twelfth. Huachipato drops to fourteenth with the loss whilst Antofagasta moved above Cobresal into third last position in the Coeficiente de Rendimiento table.
After Unión Española failed to pick up three points earlier in the day, O’Higgins reduced their lead at the top of the table after they defeated Rangers de Talca 2-1 in the Estadio Fiscal de Talca.
The first half was a tight affair with the home side having the better chances but they couldn’t find a way past O’Higgins goalkeeper Luis Marin. Their luck changed shortly after the break as Juan Gonzalo Lorca opened the scoring in the 53rd minute. The second half was in contrast to the first as the match was more free flowing especially after the opening goal as O’Higgins searched for an equaliser. Los celeste did manage to level things up in the 77th minute courtesy of a Braulio Leal’s penalty. Leal’s equaliser came after Rangers’ goalkeeper Nicolás Peric had initially saved Boris Sagredo’s first effort but the penalty had to be retaken. Things got worse for Rangers and their fans as 90th minute header from Carlos Escobar ensured that O’Higgins would leave with all three points. The win sees O’Higgins remain in third position but now only three points behind Unión Española whilst Rangers themselves remained in eleventh position.
In Saturday’s final match Colo Colo picked up their second win in a row with 3-2 win over San Marcos de Arica in the Estadio Carlos Dittborn in Arica.
Despite San Marcos have better scoring opportunities it was Colo Colo who dominated much of the proceedings and opened the scoring in the fourteenth minute courtesy of José Pedro Fuenzaldia. It wasn’t until the latter stages that los albos added a second from the penalty spot via Gonzalo Fierro in the 42nd minute after Emiliano Vecchio was brought down in the area. The team from Arica then pulled one back four minutes after the restart when their leading scorer Francisco Ibáñez headed home a Nicolás Trecco free kick. Six minutes later Carlos Muñoz restored Colo Colo’s two goal advantage before a Nestor Contreras goal for San Marcos in the 60th minute ensured a nervous last hour. The win for Colo Colo means that San Marcos have been unable to defeat them in any of their five meetings on home turf. The win also means los albos move into sixth position on the table whilst for their opponents they are much stuck to the bottom of the Coeficiente de Rendimiento table.
After going down to league leaders Unión Española last round, Universidad Católica were keen to atone this week and they did just that with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Ñublense in Chillian.
Universidad Católica have had a habit this year of scoring early goals and Sunday’s encounter was no different with Michael Rios opening the scoring inside the first two minutes. However Ñublense managed to hit back almost immediately with Mathias Riquero pouncing on a rebound inside the penalty area to level things up in the eighth minute. Five minutes before half time los cruzados were back in the lead as veteran Rodrigo Valenzuela found the back of the net, continuing a trend of elder statesmen scoring after Rafael Olarra had scored on Saturday. After the break the visitors went in search of another goal to seal the match but it took until stoppage time to do just that with Nicolás Castillo getting his second goal in as many matches. Following the result both teams maintain their respective positions on the table with Católica in fourth and Ñublense in ninth.
Cobresal’s winless season continued in Sunday’s second game after a late goal saw them go down 2-1 to Santiago Wanderers in the Estadio El Cobre.
Like their match against O’Higgins last weekend, Cobresal were again the first team on the scoreboard after Alvaro Navarro found the back of the net in the 21st minute. After the goal Wanderers went on the offensive and if it wasn’t for the efforts of Cobresal goalkeeper Sebastián Cuerdo they could have been a couple of goals down at half time. However there was nothing Cuerdo could do on the stroke of half time when Luis Salmerón stroked home a penalty after Wladimir Herrera was adjudged to have handled in the area. Whilst the second half was an entertaining affair it wasn’t until the last five minutes when all the action occurred with first Cobresal manager José Cantillana being sent to the stands in the 85th minute and two minutes later Boris Sandoval scored the winner for the team from Valpairiso. The loss sees Cobresal drop into the bottom two of the Coeficiente de Rendimiento table whilst Santiago Wanderers move to seventh on the regular season table and have started to put some distance between themselves and Antofagasta, who are third last on the Coeficiente de Rendimiento table.
The round’s last two matches took place simultaneously on Sunday afternoon with Everton losing 3-2 at home to Unión La Calera whilst Universidad de Chile bounced back from its Copa Libertadores elimination with a 4-1 win over Palestino.
Before they could even blink Everton found themselves two goals down against Unión La Calera after Sebastián Gonzalez opened the scoring in the third minute with an impeccable free kick and then Maximiliano Bajter added a second four minutes later. In what was an entertaining affair it wasn’t until early in the second half that Everton pulled a goal back courtesy of Francisco Silva in the 48th minute. Ruben Farfán restored La Calera’s two goal advantage eight minutes later. The game’s final goal came in the 78th minute via Everton’s Fernando Saavedra but it proved to be little more than a consolation goal as the last twelve minutes remained scoreless. The win sees La Calera move to eighth position on the table leap frogging Everton in the process who fell to tenth.
Universidad de Chile started their match against Palestino on the front foot and were in front after only seven minutes courtesy of Isaac Diaz who found the back of the net with a header. Most teams would have pushed on after scoring an early goal but the goal appeared to have the opposite affect on La U and the level of play appeared to drop off after opening the scoring. It took until the second half before they again found the back of the net, this time Sebastián Ubilla doing the damage in the 52nd minutes later. Four minutes later they had their third goal via Luciano Civelli, which coincidentally was the 400th goal scored in matches between the two teams. Palestino managed to pull one back in the 80th minute thanks to Diego Chaves before Civelli popped up again four minutes later to give La U an emphatic victory. The win sees La U remain in second position but now only three points behind the league leaders.
Primera Division Torneo Transición 2013 , Round eleven fixtures
Antofagasta 3-3 Huachipato (F. Falcone (HU) 37’ & 39′, J Elizondo (ANT) 48’,60′ & 87′, F. Reynero (HU) 83’)
U. Española 0-0 Cobreloa
A. Italiano 3-1 Iquique (R. Olarra (AI) 27’, M. Dávila (IQQ) 49’, D. Vallejos (AI) 66’, S. Sáez (AI) 72’)
Rangers 1-2 O’Higgins (J.G. Lorca (RAN) 53’, B. Leal (OHI) 77’, C. Escobar (OHI) 90’)
SM Arica 2-3 Colo Colo (J.P. Fuenzalida (CC) 13’, G. Fierro (CC) 42’, F. Ibáñez (SMA) 49’, C. Muñoz (CC) 55’, N. Contreras (SMA) 60’)
Ñublense 1-3 U. Católica (M. Ríos (UC) 1′, M. Riquero (NUB) 8′, R. Valenzuela (UC) 40′, N. Castillo (UC) 90’+3)
Cobresal 1-2 S. Wanderers (Á. Navarro (CBS) 20’, L. Salmerón (SW) 45’, B. Sandoval (SW) 87’)
Everton 2-3 U. La Calera (S. González (ULC) 3′, M. Bajter (ULC) 7′, F. Silva (EVE) 48′, R. Farfán (ULC) 59′, F. Saavedra (EVE) 78′)
U. de Chile 4-1 Palestino (I. Díaz (UDC) 6′, S. Ubilla (UDC) 51’, L. Civelli (UDC) 55’ & 83′, D. Chaves (PAL) 79’)