The Primera Division in Chile was back in action this weekend and it wasn’t a good weekend for two of the big three as both Universidad de Chile and Colo Colo suffered defeats. Also joining them on the loser’s list was last season’s champions Unión Española whilst Universidad Católica got off to a good start in their quest to go one better this season.
The weekend action kicked off with Palestino putting their poor last season behind them with a 2-0 victory over hosts Everton in the in the Bicentenario Lucio Fariña on Friday night. Goals in either half to Leonardo Valencia and Sergio López were enough for los arabes to begin the new season with a win.
Saturday’s opening match saw Santiago Wanderers, who have recruited well in the off season, pull off somewhat of a surprise with a 1-0 victory away to Huachipato in the Estadio CAP. In a match that saw the debut of Japanese player Hiroki Uchida for Huachipato it was a Franz Schultz goal just before half time that proved to be the difference between the two teams.
After the Primera Division’s worst team over the last three seasons but managing to stay in the top flight due to some crucial playoff wins, Cobresal looked to begin their 2013 Apertura season on a much better footing against Unión La Calera in the Estadio Nicolás Chahuán. They got off to the start they wanted when they took the lead in the 40th minute courtesy of Johan Fuentes but surrendered their lead shortly after the break as Pablo Vergara levelled things up for the home side in the 48th minute. That may have been where the scoring for the match finished but not the action as Cobresal finished the match with only eight men on the pitch after Lucas Parodi, Ever Cantero and Mariano Torres were all shown red cards between the 55th and 68th minutes. This was the third consecutive season that Cobresal had at least one player sent off in the season’s opening fixture.
Marco Antonio Figueroa’s reign as Universidad de Chile’s new manager didn’t get off the start he would have wanted as his team went down 1-0 to Rangers de Talca in the Estadio Santa Laura. The only goal of the game came in the 86th minute courtesy of Esteban Ciaccheri and it wasn’t the ideal lead up for Figueroa’s men as they travel to Bolivia to take on Real Potosi in the Copa Sudamericana.
Saturday’s final match saw Unión Española’s title defence not get off to the best of starts as they went down 1-0 to Antofagasta in the Estadio Bicentenario Calvo y Bascuñan. A 19th minute goal to Javier Elizondo proved to be the difference and showed that Unión’s recent poor form in the Copa Chile has continued into the season proper. Their loss was the first time since 2010 that last season’s champion had lost the opening match of the following season.
Whilst Marco Antonio Figueroa might have a poor start to his reign at Universidad de Chile, his counterpart at Colo Colo, Gustavo Benitez, had an even worse start as his team went down 4-0 to Audax Italiano in Sunday’s opening fixture. Making matters worse for Benitez was the fact that his team played for more than an hour of the match with at least a man advantage after Mauricio Arias was given a straight red in the 26th minute and then had a two man advantage for the last ten minutes or so, during which their opponents scored two goals, after Lucas Dominguez picked up his second yellow card in the 78th minute. Getting on the scoresheet for Audax were Bryan Carrasco with a brace, Felipe Mora and Cristián Canuhe. This was only the second time that Audax had defeated their opponents by four goals, the other time coming way back in 1936. Benitez will be hoping his team can bounce back for their midweek trip to Uruguay for the Copa Sudamericana clash against El Tanque Sisley.
Sunday’s next two match kicked off at the same time in the north of the country as Iquique hosted O’Higgins and Cobreloa took on the newly promoted Universidad de Concepción.
In the Estadio Tierra de Campeones Pablo Calandria continued his good form from last season as he scored the only goal of the game in the 75th minute to give O’Higgins a 1-0 victory over Iquique. Like a number of games this round both teams failed to finish the match with the full compliment as both Iquique’s Rubén Taucare and O’Higgins Claudio Meneses were given their marching orders in the 53rd and 85th minutes respectively.
A goal in each half was enough for Cobreloa was enough to ensure that Universidad de Concepción’s return to the top flight of Chilean football would begin with a loss. Cobreloa’s goals came courtesy of Jonathan Chaves and Gastón Lezcano. Their fans will be hoping that that type of form continues into the Copa Sudamericana where they host Uruguayan giants Peñarol in a difficult opening fixture.
The weekend’s final match saw Universidad Católica continue where they finished off last season as they comfortably defeated Ñublense 3-0 in the Estadio San Carlos de Apoquimbo. New recruit José Luis Muñoz was first on the scoresheet in the fifteenth minute before Alfonso Parot and Michael Rios added the next two on the stroke of half and full time respectively in a dominant performance by last season’s runners up.
Primera Division Torneo Apertura 2013 , Round one fixtures
Everton 0-2 Palestino (L. Valencia (PAL) 30′, S. López (PAL) 82′)
Huachipato 0-1 S. Wanderers (F. Schultz (SW) 53′)
U. La Calera 1-1 Cobresal (J. Fuentes (CBS) 40′, P. Vergara (ULC) 48′)
U. de Chile 0-1 Rangers (E. Ciaccheri (RAN) 86′)
Antofagasta 1-0 U. Española (J. Elizondo (ANT) 19′)
A.Italiano 4-0 Colo Colo (B. Carrasco (AI) 48′ & 81′, F. Mora (AI) 75′, C. Canuhe (AI) 79′)
Iquique 0-1 O’Higgins (P. Calandria (OHI) 75′)
Cobreloa 2-0 U. Concepción (J. Cháves (CBA) 23′, G. Lezcano (CBA) 63′)
U. Católica 3-0 Ñublense (J.L. Muñoz (UC) 15′, A. Parot (UC) 45′ +1, M. Ríos (UC) 90′)
Photo taken from elgrafico.cl