With a third of the season now over Colo Colo are shaping as the team to beat as the continued their unbeaten start to the season with yet another win and maintained their three point lead over Universidad Católica at the top of the table. Los cruzados themselves had a weekend to remember as they scored seven with Mark Gonzalez getting his first goal in Chile in ten years. It was also a weekend where goalkeepers shined with four penalties being saved over the weekend. All in all another action packed weekend in the Chilean Primera Division.
The weekend’s action kicked off in the north of the country on Friday night as Cobreloa and Unión Española shared the spoils in a 1-all draw in the Estadio La Madriguera. The first half was a scrappy affair in which both teams failed to create any chances of note. Both teams were forced into making substitutions due to injury during the opening forty-five minutes with Cobreloa’s Cristián Suárez being forced off the pitch in the 20th minute whilst Unión’s captain Diego Scotti followed suit in the 41st minute. When the goals did come they came within a minute of each other with Gustavo Cristaldo opening the scoring in the 69th minute before Carlos Salom scored his fourth goal of the season pretty much straight from the resulting kickoff.
Friday’s second match saw the Colo Colo juggernaut roll on as they defeated Rangers 3-1 in the Estadio Monumental. The first half was marred by a sickening head clash between Rangers’ players Francisco Alarcon and Lautaro Baeza in the 25th minute which resulted in both players being stretchered off to a waiting ambulance. There were two goals in the opening forty-five minutes and they came in an extended stoppage time with Jose Pedro Fuenzalida opening the scoring in the 46th minute for the home side before Mauricio Gomez levelled things up a minute later. Julio Barroso added Colo Colo’s second in the 55th minute before Felipe Flores put the icing on the cake in the 76th minute.
Palestino maintained fourth position on the table in Saturday’s opening fixture as they saw off Unión La Calera 3-2 in the Estadio Nicolás Chahuán. Mario Berríos opened the scoring for the home side in the 41st minute from the penalty spot and carried that lead into the half time break. Two goals to Esteban Cavajal and Miguel Escalona within the first eleven minutes of the second half saw Palestino take the lead before Pablo Vergara restored parity midway through the half. In the end it was 78th minute Cesar Henriquez goal that proved to be the difference and saw Unión La Calera slip further down the coeficiente de rendimento table.
Universidad de Concepción brought their run of three consecutive losses to an end with a one-all draw with Cobresal in the Estadio Municipal de Yumbel. Both goals came in the first with Guillermo Suarez opening the scoring in the twentieth minute for Cobresal before Sixto Peralta levelled things up sixteen minutes later. Universidad de Concepción did have a chance to win the match but Cobresal goalkeeper Sebastian Cuerdo denying Gabriel Vargas from the penalty spot in the 74th minute.
Two weeks after copping five goals against Colo Colo, Huachipato was once again on the end of another thrashing as Universidad Católica put seven goals past them in a 7-1 win in the Estadio San Carlos de Apoquimbo. The punishment began in the very first minute as Alvaro Ramos tucked home the opener with the visitors touching the ball for the first time when goalkeeper Miguel Jimenez picked the ball out his own net. It took another forty minutes for los cruzados to get their second and it came somewhat against the run of play when Milovan Mirosevic’s long range effort crashed through the side netting after crossing the line. Five minutes later they had their third of the night as Mark Gonzalez, who was making his first start, scored his first goal in the Primera Division since 2004. Católica’s four remaining goals came in the second half courtesy of Enzo Andia, Dario Botinelli, Alvaro Ramos and Ramiro Costa whilst David Llanos grabbed Huachipato’s solitary goal for the evening. The loss leaves Huachipato rooted to the bottom of the coeficiente de rendimiento table and in severe danger of being relegated a little over a year after winning the Primera Division title.
The remaining action on Saturday took place in the north of the country with Iquique hosting Santiago Wanderers in the Estadio Tierra de Campeones whilst Audax Italiano travelled to the Estadio Calvo y Bascuñan to take on Antofagasta. A week after knocking off Universidad de Chile, Santiago Wanderers were brought back to earth at the hands of Iquique who handed them a comprehensive 3-1 defeat. The home side opened the scoring in the 22nd courtesy of Santiago Romero penalty before Wanderers had a chance to equalise themselves from the penalty spot but Leonardo Valencia had his effort saved by Rodrigo Naranjo. Cesar Pinares made them pay for their miss four minutes before half time with an impeccable free kick. Gerson Martinez then made it three with eighteen minutes to play before Matias Mier grabbed a consolation goal for the visitors in the 84th minute.
Meanwhile Audax Italiano ended a run of two consecutive losses with a 1-0 defeat of Antofagasta. The only goal of the game came in the 58th minute courtesy of Argentinean Ruben Ramirez who headed home a Marco Medel cross. To make matters worse for Antofagasta was that they finished the match with nine men with both goalkeeper Jorge Broun and Javier Elizondo both receiving straight red cards in the 92nd and 94th minutes respectively.
Coming off the back of a hard fought draw midweek in the Copa Libertadores, O’Higgins continued their recent run of good form with a 2-0 defeat of Ñublense in the Estadio Nelson Oyarzún in Chillian. Fernando Gutiérrez opened the scoring for O’Higgins in the 19th minute before Luciano Vasquez missed an opportunity to equalise when he had his penalty saved by Paulo Garces. O’Higgins man of the match from midweek, Pablo Hernandez put the icing on the cake for the team from Rancagua from the penalty spot in the 88th minute.
Universidad de Chile were also in action midweek, picking up a win against Sporting Defensor, and they continued that form in the weekend’s final match as they defeated Everton 2-1 in the Estadio Santa Laura. Isaac Diaz opened the scoring for La U in the 35th minute and looked to be heading for a comfortable win but Cesar Retamales had other ideas as his twenty-five metre effort left Jhonny Herrera with no chance. However Everton’s unbeaten run under Nelson Acosta came to an end when Patricio Rubio popped up in the 85th minute to head home the winner.
Primera Division Torneo Clausura 2014 , Round seven fixtures
Cobreloa 1-1 U. Española (G. Cristaldo (CBA) 69′, C. Salom (UE) 70′)
Colo Colo 3-1 Rangers (J.P. Fuenzalida (CC) 45 +1′, M. Gómez (RAN) 45 +2′, J. Barroso (CC) 55′, F. Flores (CC) 76′)
U. La Calera 2-3 Palestino (M. Berríos (ULC) 41′, E. Carvajal (PAL) 46′, M. Escalona (PAL) 56′, P. Vergara (ULC) 67′, C. Henríquez (PAL) 78′)
U. Concepción 1-1 Cobresal (G. Suárez (CBS) 20′, S. Peralta (UDC) 36′)
U. Católica 7-1 Huachipato (Á. Ramos 1′ & 71′, M. Mirosevic (UC) 40′, M. González (UC) 45′, E. Andía (UC) 51′, D. Llanos (HUA) 54′, D. Botinelli (UC) 63′, R. Costa (UC) 83′)
Iquique 3-1 S. Wanderers (S. Romero (IQQ) 22′, C. Pinares (IQQ) 41′, G. Martínez (IQQ) 72′, M. Mier (SW) 84′)
Antofagasta 0-1 A. Italiano (R. Ramírez (AI) 58′)
Ñublense 0-2 O’Higgins (F. Gutiérrez (OHI) 19′, P. Hernández (OHI) 88′)
U. de Chile 2-1 Everton (I. Díaz (UCH) 35′, C. Retamales (EVE) 76′, P. Rubio (UCH) 85′)