With only one round remaining both Universidad Católica and O’Higgins are still on level pegging as they look to secure the league title. In a weekend which only saw eleven goals, the lowest of the season so far, both teams overcame difficult opponents in the form of Colo Colo and Unión Española respectively with 1-0 victories to set up a pulsating final round of the Apertura season next weekend.
Action in the penultimate round kicked off on Friday night in the Estadio CAP with Huachipato’s dire season continuing with a 1-0 loss at the hands of Unión La Calera. The only goal of the game in the 63rd minute courtesy of a Esteban Bravo long range effort and they could have had a second in the 73rd minute but Huachipato goalkeeper Nery Veloso denied his counterpart Arnaldo Giménez from the penalty spot. The win sees La Calera move five points clear of their rivals who sit at the bottom of the table.
In Friday’s next match at the later kickoff, which was a northern clásico of sorts, Antofagasta and Cobreloa shared the spoils in a scoreless draw which ended Cobreloa’s run of three consecutive losses.
Also kicking off at the same time as the aforementioned match was the encounter between Audax Italiano and Rangers which saw the former continue their recent dominance of their opponents with a 2-0 victory. The win which was Audax’s fourth in a row against Rangers came courtesy of goals to Marco Medel and Diego Valdés in the 56th and 84th minutes respectively.
O’Higgins kept alive their chances of their first ever Primera Division title with a 1-0 victory over Unión Española in the Estadio Municipal La Pintana. The win which ended Unión’s six match unbeaten run was secured with a Pablo Calandria goal in the 53rd minute.
Whilst O’Higgins and Unión Española were in action in the south of the country, Cobresal and Santiago Wanderers were action in the north of the country in El Salvador and the lack of goals in the round continued as they shared the honours in a one-all draw. Opening the scoring in the 21st minute was Boris Sagredo for the visitors with Paraguayan Ever Cantero cancelling out his effort in the 63rd minute.
In Saturday’s next match we saw another one-all draw as Universidad de Concepción overcame a man disadvantage to come from a goal down to draw with Universidad de Chile in the Estadio Santa Laura. The draw has put La U in danger of missing out on qualification for the continental competition playoffs which will take place after next weekend’s round of matches. Gustavo Lorenzetti opened the scoring for los azules in the 28th minute with a long range effort that left goalkeeper Cristián Muñoz with no chance.
Nine minutes later both teams were reduced to ten men when Osvaldo Gonzalez and Diego Diaz were given their marching orders by referee Patricio Polic after exchanging headbutts at a Universidad de Concepción corner. Las penquistas’ equaliser came in the 82nd minute courtesy of Hector Berrios which came two minutes after teammate Felipe Muñoz was given his second yellow card for a foul on Ruben Farfan. Farfan then had a chance to win the match for the home side but his effort came crashing back off the crossbar.
Saturday’s final match took place in the Estadio Tierra de Campeones as Palestino bounced back from their thrashing last weekend to defeat Iquique by the solitary goal. That goal came in the 87th minute courtesy of Matias Ramirez who rose above the Iquique defence to head home the winner. The win sees Palestino move into third position on the table whilst their opponents remained in sixth position.
Much of the talk in the lead up to this weekend’s fixture was the clásico between Universidad Católica and Colo Colo which kicked off at midday on Sunday in the Estadio San Carlos de Apoquimbo. With O’Higgins winning earlier in the round Católica needed to match their efforts in order to maintain their hopes of their eleventh league title and that they did with a 1-0 victory. The only goal of the game in the 51st minute via Ismael Sosa, who will leave los cruzados at the end of the season for Mexico, who got on the end of a Cristian Alvarez cross. It wouldn’t be a clásico without a sending off and referee Jorge Osorio duly obliged in the 70th minute after he gave los albos’ Cristian Vilchez a straight red card for landing two punches on Milovan Mirosevic as the two teams came together in a heated exchange. Vilchez became the 33rd player to have received a red card in Chile’s “third” clásico.
In the weekend’s final match Ñublense kept their hopes of taking part in the playoff for continental action next year with a 1-0 victory over Everton in the Estadio Bicentenario Nelson Oyarzún. Ñublense’s winner came in the 62nd minute via Benjamin Ruiz who headed home a Boris Sandoval cross and sees los diablos rojos move into seventh position on the table.
Primera Division Torneo Apertura 2013 , Round sixteen fixtures
Huachipato 0-1 U. La Calera (E. Bravo (ULC) 65′)
Antofagasta 0-0 Cobreloa
A. Italiano 2-0 Rangers (M. Medel (AI) 56′, D. Valdés (AI) 84′)
O’Higgins 1-0 U. Española (P. Calandria (OHI) 53′)
Cobresal 1-1 S. Wanderers (B. Sagredo (SW) 21′, E. Cantero (CBS) 63′)
U. de Chile 1-1 U. Concepción (G. Lorenzetti (UCH) 28′, H. Berríos (UDC) 82′)
Iquique 0-1 Palestino (M. Ramírez (PAL) 87′)
U. Catolica 1-0 Colo Colo (I. Sosa (UC) 51′)
Ñublense 1-0 Everton (B. Ruiz (NUB) 62′)