Weekend fourteen of the Primera B saw Miguel Ponce’s impressive San Luis side look to increase the gap between themselves and San Marcos de Arica, after their seemingly unassailable lead at the top of the table had been cut to just two points in recent weeks. La Serena hosted Magallanes as los Papayeros looked to pick up their first win of what has been an atrocious season, and things were not made any easier for them after they had to play in the tiny stadium of La Pampilla in front of just 450 people, as security issues prevented them playing in their temporary home, Francisco Sanchez Rumoroso.
La Serena’s game was the first of the weekend and they will have no doubt had their defeat to Magallanes earlier in the season still fresh in their minds. On that occasion, La Serena led 3-0 but succumbed to second half pressure to finally lose the game 4-3, in what was possibly one of the worst halves of defending ever witnessed in professional football. This time around the game was called off, then called on again, as La Serena looked to find a replacement stadium as authorities deemed it too dangerous for them to play in their rival’s, Coquimbo Unido, stadium.
It was the visitors who had the better of the opening period and took the lead in the 20th minute through Jose Luis Silva. La Serena were back on level terms just nine minutes later via a Pablo Pereira strike and were in the ascendancy from then on, looking as though they would finally pick up their first win of the season. However, after Juan Silva was sent off on the hour for two bookings in ten minutes Magallanes regained control and it looked as though the home fans would leave with broken hearts for the umpteenth time this season, as Leonardo Olivera restored the away side’s lead. It wasn’t over, though, and La Serena had the last say as they equalised in stoppage time through Anibal Domeneghini, by far their best player this season. The point keeps los Papayeros within touching distance of the teams above them, however 13 games and zero wins is something even the most pessimistic of fans wouldn’t have predicted at the start of the season.
The second game of the day saw Deportes Temuco host Deportes Concepcion with the away side, who sit comfortably in mid-table, only able to name four substitutes. It was the hosts who took the lead in the 37th minute thanks to a Santiago Malano strike, and they looked to be in control until Alejandro Marquez was sent off just ten minutes into the second half. From there on in there was relentless Concepcion pressure but it looked as though Temuco’s sturdy defence would hold on for the win. However, they were finally breached as Gabriel Avalos scored six minutes from time to give his side a share of the spoils.
San Luis hosted Curico Unido in Saturday’s final game and Miguel Ponce’s young side had looked like cracking in recent weeks as their lead at the top of the table was cut to just two points by San Marcos. However, they displayed incredible professionalism to record a comfortable 2-0 win, star man Carlos Oyaneder and Jean Meneses with the goals. It meant they temporarily increased their lead at the top of the table to five points as San Marcos travelled to Deportes Copiapo on Sunday.
Sunday’s first game saw Naval host Barnechea with the away side enjoying a resurgence in recent weeks which has seen them climb into the top four. However, it was mid-table Naval who took the lead in the 24th minute thanks to Mario Salgado, but their joy was short lived as Yashir Pinto put Barnechea back on level terms just three minutes later. From there on in it only got worse for the home side as Rodrigo Jara was sent off for his second booking three minutes before half time. Barnechea made their numerical advantage count early in the second half as Pinto got his second of the game after 47 minutes. The game was wrapped up eight minutes from time as Mikel Arguinarena added a third and some gloss to the scoreline in what was a comfortable victory.
At the same time, San Marcos de Arica travelled to Deportes Copiapo to try and close the gap on San Luis, which had now been extended to five points. The first real incident of any note came in the 26th minute as San Marcos had Pedro Carrizo sent off for a straight red card. It took until the 53rd minute for Copiapo to take advantage of their extra man, as Luis Ignacio Quinteros gave them a deserved lead. The game was put beyond San Marcos’ reach 11 minutes later thanks to a Matias Sanchez goal. It was an important three points for Copiapo as it pushes them into mid-table and away from the trailing pack at the bottom of the table. At the other end, it means San Marcos now trail San Luis by five points and would be dragged further into the chasing pack if Coquimbo Unido and Santiago Morning, who were also playing at four o’clock, could pick up results.
Coquimbo Unido were another side who had been on a fine a run in recent weeks and they travelled to Union San Felipe full of confidence. San Felipe themselves still have an outside chance of making it into the top two as they sat six points behind San Marcos at the start of play. It was the home side who started the brighter, however it took them until the 49th minute to make the most of their dominance as Marco Espinoza gave them the lead. It looked as though they would see out the win, even more so after Juan Grabowski was sent off in the 66th minute for a second yellow card. However, grit and determination have been key factors in Coquimbo’s recent revival and they snatched a point just seven minutes from time thanks to Mario Pierani. The point sees San Felipe move to within five of San Marcos and sees Coquimbo jump one place to fifth and just three behind San Marcos.
Finally, Santiago Morning welcomed second bottom Lota Schwager to the capital as they also looked to close the gap on the top. They looked to be on course to do exactly that as Jaime Gaete gave them the lead after 14 minutes. Lota Schwager hit back on the stroke of half time through their main man Renato Ramos. However, lots of second half pressure from Morning finally paid off as Cristian Ivanobski restored their lead and gave them the win with a goal in the 72nd minute. The win moves Santiago Morning up to fourth, just two points behind San Marcos, while Lota remain just three points above bottom side La Serena.