As the saying goes there is no rest for the wicked as the Clausura season kicked off a little over two weeks since Universidad de Chile had secured Chile’s final spot in the Copa Libertadores. The aforementioned los azules were on the winners’ list on the opening weekend alongside fellow big three teams, Universidad Catolica and Colo Colo whilst O’Higgins backed up from their first ever title with a win of their own. But it was Union La Calera who grabbed the headlines for the weekend with a 5-1 thrashing of Cobresal.
Apertura champions O’Higgins got the season underway as they hosted Iquique in the Estadio Monumental on Friday night. Billed unofficially as clásico de los celestes (by ourselves only) it was O’Higgins who continued from where they finished off last season with a 1-0 victory over their opponents with Benjamin Vidal heading home the winner in the 75th minute. In what was an entertaining encounter O’Higgins survived a late flurry of chances by Iquique including a penalty shout to post their first three points of the season.
Speaking of teams that maintained their form from last season, Huachipato continued their disastrous run of results with a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Santiago Wanderers in the Estadio San Luis de Quillota. Five of the game’s six games goals came in the opening half time with the home side leading 3-2 courtesy of a brace to Gaston Cellerino and a solitary goal for Leonardo Valencia whilst for Huachipato David Llanos and Lucas Simon got on the scoresheet. It took until the 86th minute for Wanderers to get their fourth as Valencia completed a brace of his own with an excellent free kick.
In Saturday’s opening match Palestino’s Roberto Gutierrez started the season with a bang as he scored his first ever hat-trick in the Primera Division in his side’s 4-0 thrashing of Everton in the Estadio La Cisterna. Also getting on the scoresheet for the home side was Matias Ramirez who put the icing on the cake in the 80th minute after the former Colo Colo player and completed his hat-trick five minutes earlier.
Meanwhile in the Estadio Municipal de Yumbel, Leonardo Monje goal ensured Universidad de Concepción would start the season with a win as they defeated Cobreloa 1-0. Monje’s goal came in the 72nd minute after both teams had been reduced to ten men with both Andres Imperiale (Universidad de Concepción) and Sebastian Roco (Cobreloa) picking up their second yellow cards in the 45th and 55th minutes respectively.
Saturday’s penultimate game saw Universidad de Chile begin their season with a win as they saw off Rangers 1-0 in the Estadio Fiscal de Talca. The game’s only goal came courtesy of Patricio Rubio in the 60th minutes with the diminutive striker looking to win back the La U fans after a poor finish to the previous season. The match also saw the return of Francisco Castro to his former club as he came on as 71st minute substitute.
The day’s final match saw the only draw of the round as Unión Española and Antofagasta shared the spoils in 1-all draw in the Estadio Santa Laura. Getting on the scoresheet on his debut for his new club was former Deportes Concepción striker Carlos Salom who opened the scoring in the 29th minute for the home side before Juan Gonzalo Lorca levelled things up four minutes before half time. Both teams had their chances to win it in the second half with la furia roja goalkeeper Diego Sanchez making some crucial saves to deny the visitors. The match also saw the return of Matias Campos Toro to Chilean football as he played a full ninety minutes for Unión.
Sunday saw Universidad Católica’s new manager Rodrigo Astudillo start his reign with a 2-1 win over Ñublense in the Estadio Bicentenario Nelson Oyarzún. Astudillo took over from Martin Lasarte after he resigned after failing to secure los cruzados a title last year despite accumulating seventy-seven points and finishing equal top in both season. Both of the visitors goals came in the opening forty-five minutes with Enzo Andia opening the scoring in only the fifth minute before Marko Biskupovic scored only his second ever goal in the Primera Division twenty-four minutes later. Ñublense’s goal came in the 49th minute courtesy of Sebastian Varas.
Like Roberto Gutierrez on Saturday afternoon, Unión La Calera’s Leandro Benegas had his scoring boots on on Sunday as he put four goals past Cobresal goalkeeper Sebastian Cuerdo as he thrashed their opponents 5-1 in the Estadio El Cobre, a result which saw them finish the round on top of the table. Also getting on the scoresheet for La Calera was Juan Pablo Gomez whilst Cobresal’s only goal came courtesy of Rodrigo Ramirez.
In the weekend’s final match a 91st minute Felipe Flores winner ensured that Colo Colo would start the season in positive fashion as they came from a goal down to defeat Audax Italiano 2-1 in the Estadio Monumental. Bryan Carrasco, he of the kangaroo/dinosaur celebration, opened the scoring on the half hour mark before Gonzalo Fierro equalised in the 65th minute. Flores, who has been been heavily criticised in the past, whose low angled shot from outside the area gave Audax Italiano Jaime Bravo no chance and for man los albos fans they will be hoping that it is a sign of things to come.
Primera Division Torneo Clausura 2014 , Round one fixtures
O’Higgins 1-0 Iquique (B. Vidal (OHI) 75′)
S. Wanderers 4-2 Huachipato (G. Cellerino (SW) 19′ & 29′, D. Llanos (HUA) 23′, L. Valencia (SW) 26′ & 86′, L. Simón (HUA) 38′)
Palestino 4-0 Everton (R. Gutiérrez (PAL) 8′, 20′ & 75′, M. Ramírez (PAL) 80′)
U. Concepcion 1-0 Cobreloa (L. Monje (UDC) 72′)
Rangers 0-1 U. de Chile (P. Rubio (UCH) 60′)
U. Española 1-1 Antofagasta (C. Salom (UE) 29′, J. Lorca (ANT) 41′)
U. Católica 2-1 Ñublense (E. Andía (UC) (5′), M. Biskupovic, (UC) 29′, S. Varas (NUB) 49′)
Cobresal 1-5 U. La Calera (L. Benegas (ULC) 12′, 46, 78′ & 90′, J.P. Gómez (ULC) 62′, R. Ramírez (CBS) 79′)
Colo Colo 2-1 A. Italiano (B. Carrasco (AI) 29′, G Fierro (CC) 65′, Felipe Flores (CC) 90+1′)