Curicó Unido and Universidad de Concepción were the big winners after the Primera B semi-final playoffs with both teams recording wins over Magallanes and Coquimbo Unido respectively in the first legs to ensure they have the advantage going into weekend’s return fixtures.
Both Curicó Unido and Magallanes have some incentive to return to the Primera Division with the former having made only one appearance in 2008 whilst the latter, who are classed as Chile’s seventh most successful club, were last in the top flight of Chilean football in 1986. Curicó Unido, who were formed in 1973, got off to exactly the start they wanted in the Estadio Nacional with Franco Bechtholdt catching the Magallanes defence napping after only two minutes.
After the goal Magallanes dominated much of the proceedings but were thwarted by a lack of decent finishing and it was Curicó who maintained their goal advantage going into the half time break. It wasn’t until twenty minutes into the second half that the team known as la academia finally found the back as Maximiliano Alaniz, who had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes, tapped home the equaliser after Curicó goalkeeper Luis Santelices spilled a free kick. Magallanes’ joy was shortlived as Paraguayan Luis Fernández picked up his second yellow card of the evening four minutes later.
Twelve minutes before full time Curicó Unido made the most of their advantage as Diego Churín neatly chipped Magallanes goalkeeper Rodrigo Paillaqueo to ensure that his team would have the advantage going into the second leg that is to be played in the Estadio Bicentenario La Granja on Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile in Concepción, Universidad de Concepción kept its hopes alive of returning to the Primera Division after only one season away after they defeated Coquimbo Unido 3-1 in the Estadio Collao. Coquimbo, who were last in the Primera Division in 2007, opened the scoring in the 31st minute courtesy of Cristián Muñoz but their lead last little more than a minute as Michael Lepe levelled things up for the home side.
Marcelo Aguirre made it two for Universidad de Concepción in the 78th minute before Lepe grabbed his second and his team’s third in the 90th minute to ensure a two goal advantage going into the return leg in the Estadio Bicentenario Francisco Sánchez on Saturday evening.
Photo taken from elgrafico.cl