With the season approaching its end, the race for promotion and relegation in both the north and south is hotting up. In the north, Santiago Morning put themselves within touching distance of the second promotion place after victory on Saturday. Coquimbo Unido returned to the summit after they put their recent patchy form behind them to seal a comfortable win and move above Magallanes. Meanwhile, at the bottom of the table, La Serena picked up a vital point in their continuing bid to avoid back-to-back relegations.
In the south, Concepcion continue to hang onto the coat tails of the top teams put themselves within reach of second place after an entertaining victory on Saturday. Curico Unido regained top spot with victory after recording three successive draws in previous weeks. At the bottom, Lota Schwager gave themselves a fighting chance to avoid relegation and put themselves within reach of safety.
The first game in the north saw Santiago Morning host Copiapo on Saturday afternoon, and the home side climbed to within two points of second with a 1-0 victory. Russian striker Maksim Molokoedov gave the home side the lead in the tenth minute, and a combination of poor Copiapo finishing and solid Morning defending saw the capital-based side come away with the three points.
The first game on Sunday saw Coquimbo Unido regain first place with a comfortable 3-1 home victory over San Luis, who now find themselves just two points off the bottom. Coquimbo striker Oscar Salinas gave his side the lead in the 52nd minute, only for San Luis midfielder Alvaro Cesped to equalise just four minutes later. The match seemed to be heading for a drab draw until Mario Pierani regained the lead for Coquimbo in the 77th minute. Victory was sealed in stoppage time when Sergio Nuñez made it 3-1 and moved Coquimbo Unido two points clear at the top of the table. However, the matched was marred by an incident in which Santiago Morning player Samuel Teuber had to be taken to hospital in an ambulance with a suspected nasal fracture after being hit by Copiapo’s Diego Olate.
Meanwhile, Union San Felipe face being dragged into a relegation battle after they struggled to a 1-1 draw at home against La Serena. The home side took the lead through Ignacio Geraldino in the 55th minute but Los Papayeros equalised 11 minutes later through Anibal Domeneghini. The point keeps La Serena in touch with the teams above them and intensifies the battle for relegation, with the bottom four teams being separated by just three points.
In the north, Union Temuco hosted Concepcion on Saturday in what was the most entertaining match of the round, with the away side coming from a goal down to record a 3-2 victory. Union Temuco took the lead through a fourth minute Claudio Calderon goal, only for Concepcion to go 2-1 up with two goals in as many minutes courtesy of Piero Campos own goal and a Roberto Castillo strike. Castillo got his second of the game 13 minutes from time, before Jorge Alvarado pulled one back for Temuco just three minutes later. However, it wasn’t enough and Concepcion held on to record their second win in a row and move within two points of second.
At the other end of the table, Lota Schwager recorded just their second win of the season in a 2-0 home victory over Barnechea. A brace from Jose Huentelaf secured a comfortable victory which now drags Barnechea into the relegation battle, just two points off the bottom.
In the weekend’s last game, Curico Unido regained first place with a hard fought victory away to fellow promotion chasers Universidad de Concepcion. A solitary Diego Churin goal in the 60th minute was all that separated these two in a close encounter. The defeat leaves Universidad de Conception still trailing second placed Naval by two points and sees Curico Unido move two points clear at the top.