Campeonato Primera B 2013: Week Twelve Review

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It was a big weekend of fixtures in the Primera B, as this week’s games went a long way in deciding the fate of clubs at either end of both the north and south tables. There was a top of the table clash in the north, as first placed Coquimbo Unido took on Magallanes in second. At the bottom of the table, La Serena were the real winners of the day without even kicking a ball, as favourable results around them now give them every chance of avoiding back-to-back relegations.

There was a derby in the south as Concepcion took on Universidad de Concepcion, with both teams level on points before the start of play. The south also had a top of the table clash at the weekend with leaders Curico Unido taking on second placed Naval. At the other end, there was a relegation six-pointer with second bottom Union Temuco taking on third from bottom Barnechea.

First up on Sunday were the North’s top two clubs, and Coquimbo Unido had the chance to put themselves well on course for a return to the Primera Division if they could put their recent hit and miss results behind them and record a win away to Magallanes. However, they continued their run of patchy form, which has now seen them win just twice in six games, as the sides played out a 0-0 draw. The home side had the better of their opponents for most of the game, in particular after Coquimbo defender Enzo Guerrero was sent off in the 55th minute after picking up his second yellow card, but couldn’t make their pressure count.

The second match of the day was the relegation clash, as last placed Copiapo hosted Union San Felipe in fourth, however only three points separated the sides before kick-off. The away side took the lead through Sebastian Zuñiga and looked on course to all but secure their Primera B status. However, five minutes before full time, Copiapo defender Roberto Muñoz equalised to keep his side within touching distance of the teams above.

The last game to take place in the north was a five-goal thriller between San Luis and Santiago Morning.  Going into the game, home side San Luis were just one point above the bottom two and needed at least a point to put a bit of daylight between themselves and La Serena. Morning, on the other hand, were chasing second place as they knew a win would see them overtake Magallanes, who had drawn earlier that day. The home side took the lead after just six minutes through Francisco Ugarte, only for Cesar Pinares to equalise for Morning just two minutes later. David Escalante then put Morning ahead midway through the first half with just his second goal of the season. The away side looked in control of the game until eight minutes after the break when Rodrigo Diaz put San Luis back on level terms. However, it wasn’t enough to secure a point as Miguel Hernandez struck the winner for Morning in the 64th minute to send his side into second place.

These results mean that if La Serena can pick up two points from their remaining two games they will be safe from relegation. However, if Copiapo beat La Serena in the next round of fixtures and La Serena lose against San Luis on the last day, Los Papayeros will play in a play-off against the top team from the Segunda Division.

In the south, the first five o’clock game was between Curico Unido in first and Naval in second. Naval went into the game off back-to-back defeats and desperately needed a win to cement second place. Curico went into the game without a win in three themselves, drawing their previous three games, and were desperate for the three points to avoid letting first place slip. Curico took the lead in the 17th minute through Matias Arrua and Diego Churin doubled their lead in the 53rd minute with his fifth goal in nine games. Mario Salgado pulled one back for Naval in the 77th minute but Curico held on comfortably to all but guarantee a place in the top two. The defeat means Naval have now lost three in a row and now desperately need a win to avoid their promotion attempt fizzling out.

The second five o’clock game on Sunday was the derby between Universidad de Concepcion and Concepcion.  Both teams were sitting on 15 points in mid-table but had the chance to overtake Naval into second place. Universidad de Concepcion recorded a comfortable away win in front of a 5200 strong crowd thanks a brace from Gabriel Vargas, his goals coming in the 22nd and 35th minute. The win sees them move into the second and means that anybody from first down to fourth still has a chance of promotion in the last two games.

The final five o’clock kick-off saw second bottom Union Temuco take on third bottom Barnechea, with the sides being separated by just a point. Temuco took the lead in the 16th minute thanks to a goal from Patricio Schwob, and from there on in there only looked like there was going to be one winner. The game was completely one-sided and goals from Nicolas Millan and Nikolas Altamirano put the game out of Barnechea’s reach by the start of the second half. Barnechea did pull on back in the 70th minute through Emerson Jorquera, but Braulio Baeza restored Temuco’s three goal lead in the 84th minute. The win sees Union Temuco move into fifth and are now two points above Barnechea in sixth.

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