The Primera B finally picked up pace this weekend with 16 goals across the nine games, as well as the customary seven red cards, four of them coming in Lota Schwager/Concepcion game. The north saw leaders San Luis attempt to make it three wins out of three, as well as a highly anticipated El Clasico between La Serena and Coquimbo Unido, made all the more important after last week’s incident involving Coquimbo’s fans. The south saw Curico Unido battle it out to maintain their unbeaten start to the season, while Lota Schwager attempted to pick up their first point of the season.
The north’s first game saw San Marcos de Arica take on Copiapo, and the home fans went away believing their side could make an immediate return to the Primera Division after they recorded a hard-fought 2-0 win. It took until the 69th minute before San Marcos found a breakthrough and it was via the penalty spot, Chilean striker Claudio Latorre dispatching with confidence. Midfielder Sebastian Paes then scored a golazo four minutes from time to double his side’s lead and seal the three points, which temporarily put them ahead of San Luis.
Prior to San Marcos’ match, San Luis were at the top of the table with two wins out of two and they made it three in a row with ease as they defeated Magallanes 4-0, with last year’s play-off semi-finalists looking a shadow of their former selves. It was a fantastic display of youth and enthusiasm started off by 21-year-old Chilean midfielder Daniel Vicencio, putting the away side ahead after just three minutes. It was a sign of things to come and 20-year-old Paraguayan striker Cris Martinez doubled San Luis’ lead after 38 minutes. It was then the turn of 20-year-old Chilean striker Jean Meneses to get his name on the score sheet, putting the game to bed in the 53rd minute. Magallanes’ Leonardo Olivera let his frustration bubble over on the hour mark as he was given a straight red for a nasty challenge. It was then the turn of the older generation to add gloss to the result, 31-year-old defender Boris Aravena getting his side’s fourth and final goal to send San Luis back to the top with three wins out of three.
Last up on Sunday was El Clasico, one that must have felt like literally life or death for Coquimbo’s players and coaching staff after they were confronted by fans threatening to kill them after last week’s defeat. Veteran Argentinian striker Mario Pierani settled the nerves as he put Coquimbo ahead in the 38th minute. Coquimbo were playing as the away side although they were in their own stadium, as La Serena’s La Portado is currently undergoing a complete reconstruction in time for the 2015 Copa America.
The acting home side’s task became all the more difficult after Viña del Mar local Juan Silva was sent off for his second yellow four minutes before half time. Coquimbo’s midfielder Carlos Espinosa doubled his side’s lead in the 64th minute, before Miguel Estay gave the home side some hope with a goal in the 80th minute. However, it wasn’t enough for a point and Coquimbo’s staff can rest easy in the knowledge their lives are safe – for another week at least.
Deportes Temuco kicked off the weekend in the south against Naval and recorded their first away win in the Primera B since their promotion at the end of last season – and they did it in style. Santiago Maleno got a himself a first half brace with goals in the 20th and 37th minute before Naval’s Rodrigo Jara was sent off for two yellow cards in as many minutes just before half time. Temuco sealed the win 15 minutes before full time as star man Patricio Schwob got himself on the score sheet to send his team into second place.
Curico Unido were up next and were hoping to preserve their unbeaten start against Santiago Morning. The home side got off to the best possible start and were 2-0 up at half time thanks to goals from 19-year-old Chilean striker Maximiliano Gonzalez and 20-year-old Chilean midfielder Sebastian Leyton. Santiago Morning then got themselves back into it with 15 minutes remaining as the much sought after striker David Escalante pulled one back. However, it wasn’t enough and Curico remain top and preserve their unbeaten record.
The weekend’s final game was between the pointless Lota Schwager who hosted Concepcion, and while the football itself was nothing to savour, the four red cards issued over the 90 minutes is an impressive number, even by Chilean standards. The only goal of the game came in the 12th minute courtesy of Concepcion’s Edgar Melo, however there had already been two red cards by that point, Lota’s Rodrigo Velez receiving his marching orders for a straight red in the sixth minute, followed by Concepcion’s Carlos Salem suffering the same fate just two minutes later. There was another red to come before the half time whistle as the hapless Lota Schwager went down to nine men as Renato Ramos was send off on 40 minutes for another straight red. The final red card of the game came in the 68th minute as the numbers were evened up when goal scorer Melo was sent off for his second yellow.
On a side note for this weekend, the amount of young South American players, in particular Chileans, performing outstandingly can only be a good sign of things to come, with many of the hidden Primera B talents not even making it to the U-20 World Cup earlier this year.