Campeonato Clausura 2014: Week Two & Three Review

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The second and third rounds of the Chilean Primera Division were played in rapid succession as the ANFP decided to take last weekend off in the lead up to upcoming “home-based” friendly against Costa Rica. Following the conclusion of both rounds Universidad de Concepción are the somewhat surprise leaders and the only team to have a perfect record whilst two managers have already bitten the dust.

Round two kicked off with Audax Italiano picking up their first win of the season with a 2-0 victory over Santiago Wanderers in the Estadio Bicentenario La Florida. Defender Nelso Saavedra opened the scoring for the home side in the twenty fourth minute before he of the kangaroo/dinosaur goal celebration, Bryan Carrasco sealed the deal in the 94th minute with his second goal in as many matches.

Another team to pick up their first win of the season was Huachipato, who saw off Rangers 3-2 in the Estadio CAP. Omar Merlo opened the scoring for the home side in the third minute before David Llanos doubled the advantage on the stroke of half time. Shortly after the break Maurico Gomez pulled one back for Rangers after getting on the end of a cross from half time substitute Fabian Bordagaray. Mauricio Yedro restored Huachipato’s two goal lead in the 57th minute before Gaston Nunez grabbed what turned out to be a consolation goal in the 92nd minute.

The weekend’s  next match saw Juan Ignacio Duma come back to haunt his old club as he scored the only goal of the game in the 85th minute that saw Palestino defeat Universidad de Chile 1-0 in the Estadio Santa Laura.

Iquique bounced backed from their first up loss to O’Higgins with a 2-0 defeat of Cobresal at the Estadio Tierra de Campeones. Both goals came in the first half courtesy of Santiago Romero and Rodrigo Diaz in the twenty second and thirtieth minutes respectively.

Universidad de Concepción made it two wins from two matches with 2-0 defeat of Unión La Calera in the Estadio Nicolás Chahuán. La Calera, who had thrashed Cobresal in the previous round came crashing back to earth, courtesy of goals to Pedro Muñoz and Leonardo Monje. Monje, who was playing his 300th Primera Division match, scored in the 80th minute only moments after being brought down by Jorge Schwager, who was given his marching orders without much complaint.

Another team to maintain a perfect record was Universidad Católica who saw off arch rivals Unión Española 1-0 in the Estadio San Carlos de Apoquimbo. The only goal of the game in the 57th minute via Alvaro Ramos but all in all it was a dominant display from the home side as los hispanos lacked any sort of cohesion in attack.

Continuing the relatively low scoring theme of the weekend were Antofagasta and O’Higgins who shared the spoils in a scoreless draw in the Estadio Calvo y Bascuñan.

Also got on the winners’ list for the first time this season were Cobreloa, who defeated Ñublense 3-1 in the Estadio La Madriguera in the round’s penultimate match. Getting on the scoresheet for Cobreloa were Gabriel Mendez, Jamie Grondona & Alvara Lopez whilst Ñublense’s only goalscorer was Tomas Lanzini.

Colo Colo’s perfect start to the season continued in the final match of Round Two with first half goals to Gonzalo Fierro and Emiliano Vecchio helping them defeat Everton 2-0 in the Estadio Lucio Fariña and ensuring in the process that their opponents would remain without a point after two rounds.

Primera Division Torneo Clausura 2014 , Round two fixtures

Audax Italiano 2-0 S. Wanderers (N. Saavedra (AI) 24′, B. Carrasco (AI) 90+4’)
Huachipato 3-2 Rangers (O. Merlo (HUA) 3′, D. Llanos (HUA) 45′, M. Gómez (RAN) 49′, M. Yedro (HUA) 57′, G. Nuñez (RAN) 90+2′)
U. de Chile 0-1 Palestino (J.I. Duma (PAL) 85′)
Iquique 2-0 Cobresal (S. Romero (IQQ) 22′, R. Díaz (IQQ) 30′)
U. La Calera 0-2 U. Concepción (P. Muñoz (UDC) 42′, L. Monje (UDC) 80′)
U. Católica 1-o U. Española  (Á. Ramos (UC) 57′)
Antofagasta 0-0 O’Higgins
Cobreloa 3-1 Ñublense (G. Méndez (CBA) 5′, T. Lanzini (NUB) 28′, J. Grondona, (CBA) 39′, Á. López (CBA) 55′)
Everton 0-2 Colo Colo (G. Fierro (CC) 17′, E. Vecchio (CC) 39′)

Only a day after Round Two had come to its conclusion action kicked off in Round Three as Santiago Wanderers played host Palestino in the Estadio Lucio Fariña which only the day before had been in action. As for the match itself Palestino’s perfect start to the season came to an end as Santiago Wanderers came back from two goals down to secure a share of the points in a two-all draw.

Opening the scoring for Palestino was Roberto Gutiérrez in the 39th minute before Sergio López doubled the visitors’ advantage five minutes after the half time break. That two goal buffer was short lived as Nicolás Canales opened his account for his new team a minute later. Joao Ortiz was given his marching orders in the 69th minute and five minutes later the home side had their equaliser courtesy of Sebastian Mendez.

The following day saw two surprise results with the first being Cobresal’s 2-1 defeat of Universidad de Chile in the Estadio El Cobre. All the game’s goals came in the final eighteen minutes with Johan Fuentes getting the scoring underway in the 72nd minute before Paraguayan Ever Cantero made it 2-0 in the 83rd minute. Fellow Paraguayan Juan Rodrigo Rojas pulled one back five minutes later but it wasn’t to stop his side from slumping to its second successive defeat. Following the match Universidad de Chile manager Marco Antonio Figueroa tendered his resignation with Cristián Romero taking over as interim manager.

The second surprise of the day saw Universidad de Concecpción maintain their perfect start to the season as they came from a goal behind to defeat the previously undefeated Universidad Católica 2-1 in the Estadio CAP. Los cruzados went into the break with advantage after Ramiro Costa opened the scoring in the 36th minute but the home side hit back after the break with goals to Leonardo Monje, his second goal in as many games, and Fernando Manriquez. The win sees them sit alone at the top of the table after three rounds.

The day’s final match saw O’Higgins rely on 90th minute equaliser from Gaston Lezcano to maintain their unbeaten start to the season as they drew 1-all with Audax Italiano. Diego Valdes opened the scoring for Audax in the Estadio Bicentenario La Florida in the 70th minute before Lezcano equalised in the dying stages of the match. O’Higgins late goal came despite being a man down after Bastián San Juan was given his marching orders in the 83rd minute.

Wednesday’s opening match saw Rangers get their first points of the campaign with a 3-0 defeat of Everton in the Estadio Fiscal del Talca. Getting on the scoresheet for Rangers were Gervasio Nuñez, Fabian Bordagaray and Rodolfo Gonzalez in the sixteenth, fortieth and forty seventh minutes respectively. The loss, which was Everton third in a row, resulted in the second managerial casualty of the round as Omar Labruna was sacked and was replaced by former national team coach, Nelson Acosta.

Next up we saw action in the north of the country as Cobreloa and Huachipato shared the spoils in a one-all draw in the Estadio La Madriguera. Both goals came in the opening forty-five minutes as David Llanos opened the scoring in the eleventh minute for Huachipato before Gabriel Mendez equalised a minute before half time.

Unión Española’s winless start to the season continued in Round Three as they were held to a draw by Iquique in the Estadio Santa Laura with both teams scoring a goal apiece. Santiago Romero opened the scoring in the fourth minute for Iquique before Sebastian Jaime equalised twenty-three minutes later. The draw, Unión’s second of the season, sees them in second last position with only the point less Everton sitting below them.

The round’s penultimate match saw Ñublense secure their first win and first points of the season with a 2-0 defeat of Unión La Calera. Both of los rojos diablos goals came in the second half courtesy of Luciano Vasquez meaning that since La Calera’s opening round thrashing of Cobresal they have yet to pick up another point.

The midweek’s round final match saw Esteban Paredes make his return to the Chilean Primera Division in Colo Colo’s one-all draw with Antofagasta in the Estadio Monumental. It was another off-season signing who opening the scoring for los albos in the ninth minute, with Jaime Valdes scoring his first goal in Chile’s top flight since 1998. It looked like Valdes’s goal would be enough for Colo Colo to maintain their perfect start to the season but Antofagasta were having none of that and Michael Silva’s 90th minute effort secured their third consecutive draw to start the season.

Primera Division Torneo Clausura 2014 , Round three fixtures

S. Wanderers 2-2 Palestino (R. Gutiérrez (PAL) 39′, S. López (PAL) 50′, N. Canales (SW) 51′, S. Méndez (SW) 74′)
Cobresal 2-1 U. de Chile (J. Fuentes (CBS) 72′, E. Cantero (CBS) 83′, J.R. Rojas (UCH) 88′)
U. Concepción 2-1 U. Católica (R. Costa (UC) 36′, L. Monje (UDC) 55′, F. Manríquez (UDC) 77′)
A. Italiano 1-1 O’Higgins (D. Valdés (AI) 70′, G. Lezcano (OHI) 90′)
Rangers 3-0 Everton (G. Núñez (RAN) 16′, F. Bordagaray (RAN) 40′, R. González (RAN) 47′)
Cobreloa 1-1 Huachipato  (D. Llanos (HUA) 11′, G. Méndez (CBA) 44′)
U. Española 1-1 Iquique (S. Romero (IQQ) 4′, S. Jaime (UE) 27′)
Ñublense 2-0 U. La Calera (L. Vásquez (NUB) 64′ & 73′)
Colo Colo 1-1 Antofagasta (J. Valdés (CC) 9′, M. Silva (ANT) 90′)

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