The Primera B kicked off in typical Chilean style at the weekend with plenty of goals being scored up and down the country, as well as six red cards being shown across the six games, with three of them being in the San Luis/Union San Felipe match. Recently relegated San Marcos de Arica were looking to put their disappointment behind them as they took on last season’s Primera B semi-finalists Magallanes in Sunday’s first match. Elsewhere, La Serena, who were almost relegated for the second consecutive season last term, will be looking for a positive start as they hope to climb the coeficiente de rendimiento table and avoid another last day scare.
Starting in the north and last season’s bottom side San Luis travelled to Union San Felipe on Saturday in the hope of starting this term better than they ended the last, with five straight defeats. The only first half event of any note was a disallowed Matias Campos goal, which was rightly ruled out for offside. It took until the 51st minute before anything of note happened, with 17 year-old Chilean striker Ignacio Geraldino opening the scoring for the home side, hitting home the rebound after San Luis ‘keeper Claudio Gonzalez could only parry Elias Borrego’s poor penalty.
However, that was as good as it got for San Felipe as four minutes later defender David Fernandez was sent off for his second bookable offence and conceded the second penalty of the match in the process. Up stepped Campos and he didn’t let his penalty miss in last week’s Copa Chile affect him, burying the spot kick with confidence. It then went from bad to worse for San Felipe as Uruguayan Gaston Cirino was sent off in the 60th minute for a vicious challenge from behind on Alvaro Cesped, and in the space of five minutes the home side were down to nine men.
It only took San Luis seven minutes to make the most of their two man advantage, Carlos Oyaneder spectacularly firing his side into the lead. The away side went down to ten men in the 72nd minute as Cesped was sent off for a second yellow card. However, one minute from time San Luis secured the three points as Campos got his second of the game and ensured they start this season much better than they finished the last.
Sunday’s first game in the north saw Magallanes host newly-relegated San Marcos de Arica. The game started at a frantic pace and it was San Marcos who took the early initiative as Nicolas Medina gave his side the lead in the 18th minute. Just four minutes later they doubled their lead as ex-Magallanes striker Claudio Latorre made the most of a mix up between defenders Javier Lemari and Luis Prieto. The game was over as a contest a minute later as Prieto was shown a straight red card for a nasty challenge as he let his frustration get the better of him. San Marcos were in control from then on and will perhaps be slightly disappointed not to have added to their tally.
The north’s last game of the weekend saw Copiapo and La Serena face off for the third time in a week, with the two sharing a draw and Copiapo winning one in the Copa Chile. Los Papayeros started the game in sluggish fashion and Copiapo took full advantage as Martin Cortes fired home in the 14th minute. However, La Serena showed some steel which they lacked last season and they equalised nine minutes later through Juan Silva. It was an even game from then on and both sides will feel as though they could have won it, however neither will be too disappointed to open their season with a point.
The south’s first game of the weekend saw last year’s second bottom club Barnechea host Naval at the Estadio Municipal Santiago Bueras. The game didn’t spark into life until the hour mark when Naval’s Patricio Lagos opened the scoring after latching onto a fantastic through-ball from Mario Salgado. Seven minutes later, the creator turned goalscorer as Salgado doubled Naval’s lead, and the game was put to bed five minutes from time as Patricio Aguilera sealed the comfortable 3-0 victory.
Sunday’s first game saw Santiago Morning travel to Deportes Temuco, with the hosts playing their first game in Primera B since 2007 after their promotion at the end of last season. It was Primera B regulars Morning, who last year played in the north section, who took the lead through Washingon Torres in the 31st minute. However, close to 5000 fans turned up to support Temuco after the team eliminated Universidad de Chile and Ñublense in the Copa Chile, and they were expecting big things. The side duly delivered just after the hour mark as Francisco Flores got the home side back on level terms. It didn’t last long and Morning turned out to be the party poopers of the weekend as Miguel Hernandez gave the away side victory with a goal in the 76th minute.
The weekend’s final game was between Concepcion and Curico Unido, however last season’s top side failed to live up to their tag of league favourites in a drab match which never looked like ending any other way than 0-0. Curico’s star man Diego Churin was unable to have an impact as he was effectively shut out by the Concepcion defence. They will be hoping he’ll soon be back to his best to help ignite another successful campaign for Curico.