Campeonato Apertura 2013: Week Five Review

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With the league looking very un-Chilean like in the opening four rounds the goals returned with a vengeance in round five of the Apertura season with thirty-three goals being scored over the nine matches including nine in the encounter between Universidad Católica and Palestino, with the win by the former signally their championship credentials.

Unión Española finally broke their duck and picked up their first points of the season in the weekend’s first match as they defeated Ñublense 2-0 in the Estadio Bicentenario Nelson Oyarzún on Friday night. Despite creating numerous chances in the opening half it wasn’t until two minutes into the second half that la furia roja opened the scoring courtesy of captain Gonzalo Villagra whose long range effort that left Ñublense goalkeeper Lucas Giovini with no chance. Their second came on the stroke of full time after the aforementioned Giovini brought down Oscar Hernández in the area for a penalty and was promptly shown a straight red card. Gustavo Canales then converted from the penalty spot.

Saturday’s opening match saw O’Higgins share the spoils with Santiago Wanderers in a two-all draw at the Estadio Nicolás Chahuán although that result may change after Santiago Wanderers managed to have six foreign players on the pitch at one stage, two more than is allowed under ANFP regulations. As for the action on the pitch Pablo Calandria continued his good start to the season with the opening goal of the game in the 56th minute from the penalty spot after he was brought down by Wanderers goalkeeper David Reyes.

Wanderers drew level in the 71st minute as O’Higgins goalkeeper Paulo Garces failed to keep out a low Leandro Torres free kick before taking the lead in the 82nd minute courtesy of Jefferson Castillo. Pablo Calandria then grabbed his second goal of the afternoon from the penalty spot in the 90th minute after Wanderers defender Ezequiel Luna was adjudge to have handled the ball in the area.

One of the anomalies in the first four weeks of the Apertura season has the been the severe lack of goals that is usually a trademark of the Chilean game. That all changed in the second match on Saturday as nine goals were as Universidad Católica put their case forward as favourites for this season’s title with 6-3 win over Palestino in the Estadio Nacional.

Los cruzados got off to a flyer and were two goals up inside ten minutes as firstly Ismael Sosa found the back of the net after only a minute before Michael Ríos double their advantage from the penalty spot eight minutes later after Palestino goalkeeper Felipe Núñez was adjudged to have brought down Sosa inside the area. Replays suggested he was a little unlucky to penalised. The goal scoring didn’t finish there as Roberto Gutiérrez scored his first ever goal against Universidad Católica before Milovan Mirosevic was allowed to waltz through a non-existent Palestino defence to fire home from distance. Javier Capelli reduced Católica’s lead to one just after the break but any hope of a remarkable comeback was soon shattered as Nicolás Castillo, Fernando Meneses and Sosa all found the back of the net before Diego Chaves grabbed a late consolation goal.

In Saturday’s final game the honours were shared as Audax Italiano continued an unbeaten run over Cobreloa that has now stretched to ten matches as both teams scored a goal apiece in the Estadio Bicentenario La Florida. The home side opened the scoring in the 35th minute after Bryan Carrasco headed home under immense pressure although replays suggested that Domingo Salazar’s cross may have crossed the byline. Cobreloa equalised shortly after the break courtesy of Hugo Droguett in what was to be the game’s last goal although it wasn’t for lack of trying from the visitors.

The goals continued to flow on Sunday as Universidad de Concepción picked up their second successive win with a 3-2 victory over Everton in the Estadio Bicentenario Lucio Fariña. What made their win even more impressive is that they played the match with ten men for most of the match after Andrés Imperiale was given a straight red in the fifth minute for an agricultural challenge on Nicolás Peñailillo. Seven minutes later Everton made good use of their man advantage as Emiliano Romero fired home after the visitors were caught napping with a short corner routine.

Universidad de Concepción were back on level terms before the break after Everton goalkeeper Gustavo Dalsasso gifted Fernando Manriquez an equaliser. The remaining three goals came in the opening eight minutes of the second half with firstly former Universidad Católica player Sixto Peralta on the receiving end of a well worked free kick routine for Universidad de Concepción in the 46th minute before Luis Vila equalised three minutes later for the home side. Four minutes later Concepción captain Gabriel Vargas scored the final goal and match winner.

Whilst every other team got the memo that goals were back on the menu someone didn’t tell Huachipato and Colo Colo as they fought out a scoreless draw in the Estadio CAP. This scoreline was a result of some poor finishing and some excellent saves from both teams with Colo Colo having one eye on their midweek fixture in the Copa Sudamericana.

Cobresal continued their good start to the season as they notched up their second successive win with a surprise 2-1 over Rangers in the Estadio Fiscal de Talca. Doing the damage for Cobresal was Álvaro Navarro who scored both of Cobresal’s goals in the 16th and the 55th minute respectively. Sandwiched in between Navarro’s goals was Fabian Bordagaray’s 46th minute effort which came pretty much from the kick off of the second half.

Iquique bounced back from their trouncing last week at the hands of Colo Colo with a 2-1 defeat of Unión La Calera in the Estadio Tierra de Campeones. Santiago Romero opened the scoring in the tenth minute for los dragones celestes with a long range effort than La Calera goalkeeper Rodrigo Naranjo could only push into his own net. Christian Bogado doubled the home side’s advantage sixteen minutes into the second half before Rodrigo Gattas pulled one back five minutes later. After his earlier golazo Romero then blotted his copybook somewhat with a cynical foul that earned him a straight red card from referee Claudio Aranda seven minutes before full time.

The weekend’s final match turned out to be the Patricio Rubio show as the former Unión Española and Barnechea striker scored four goals in Universidad de Chile 5-0 rout of Antofagasta in the Estadio Santa Laura. Rubio had his hat-trick by the half hour mark with goals in the 7th, 17th and 30th minutes with Sebastián Ubilla managing to steal some of the limelight with a goal of his own in the 24th minute. Rubio the got his fourth and final goal in the 55th minute to seal a memorable performance by the diminutive striker who was playing in the Primera B a little over a year ago.

Primera Division Torneo Apertura 2013 , Round five fixtures

Ñublense 0-2 U. Española (G. Villagra (UE) 47′, G. Canales (UE) 90′)
S. Wanderers 2-2 O’Higgins (P. Calandría (OHI) 56′ & 90′, L. Torres (SW) 71′, J. Castillo (SW) 82′)
Palestino 3-6 U. Católica (I. Sosa (UC) 11′ & 80′, 0-2 9′ M. Ríos (UC) 9′, R. Gutiérrez (PAL) 23′, M. Mirosevic (UC) 31′, J. Capelli (PAL) 46′, N. Castillo (UC) 50′, F. Meneses (UC) 56′, D. Chaves (PAL) 87′)
A. Italiano 1-1 Cobreloa (B. Carrasco (AUD) 35′, H. Droguett (CBA) 48′)
Everton 2-3 U. Concepción (E. Romero (EVE) 12′, F. Manríquez (UDC) 42′, S. Peralta (UDC) 46′, L. Vila (EVE) 49′, G. Vargas (UDC) 53′)
Huachipato 0-0 Colo Colo
Rangers 1-2 Cobresal (Á. Navarro (CBS) 16′ & 55′, F. Bordagaray (RAN) 46′)
Iquique 2-1 U. La Calera (S. Romero (IQQ) 10′, C. Bogado (IQQ) 61′, R. Gattas (ULC) 66′)
U. de Chile 5-0 Iquique (P. Rubio (UCH) 7′, 17′ 30′ & 55′, S. Ubilla (UCH) 24′)

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