Colo Colo and O’Higgins look to be the two teams that will fight it out for the 2014 Clausura season as both recorded important wins over the weekend. O’Higgins saw off rivals Universidad Católica whilst Colo Colo saw off Palestino and pulled four points clear at the top of the table.
The eighth round of the Clausura kicked off with a six-goal thriller as Universidad de Chile came from two goals to secure a three-all draw with Audax Italiano in the Estadio Bicentenario La Florida on Friday night. Juan Rodrigo Rojas got the scoring underway in only the second minute for the visitors as he got on the end of a Rodrigo Mora free kick before Marco Medel equalised four minutes before half time. At half time Audax manager, Jaime Rubilar, brought on Felipe Mora for Alejandro Vásquez and it had the desired effect as Mora put the home side two goals to the good with goals in the 49th and 56th minutes respectively. However, they were unable to end the run of nine matches without a win over their opponents as goals to Patricio Rubio and Francisco Castro ensured los azules a share of the points.
Next up was the battle of the two teams on the table which saw Huachipato triumph 1-0 over Ñublense in the Estadio CAP. The only goal of the game came in the 29th minute courtesy of Lucas Simon. Whilst the win saw them leapfrog Ñublense in the regular season table, Huachipato are still very much rooted to the bottom of the coeficiente de rendimiento table and face the very real danger of relegation come the season’s end.
Saturday’s opening fixture was a rather dull affair as Rangers and Universidad de Concepción fought out an uninspiring scoreless draw in the Estadio Fiscal del Talca.
A few days after picking up their first win in this year’s Copa Libertadores, O’Higgins kept up their unbeaten start to the season going with a 2-0 victory over Universidad Católica in a replay of the playoff for the Apertura title and maintained their recent dominance of their rivals. Doing the damage for O’Higgins were Pablo Calandria and Yerson Opazo, the hero from midweek, whilst their opponents finished the match with ten men after Milovan Mirosevic was given his marching orders in the 77th minute.
Another team that had the Copa Libertadores on their mind were Unión Española, who after sharing the spoils with Independiente de Valle midweek, rested a number of key players before their match against Botafogo as they faced off against Everton in the Estadio Santa Laura. One of those rested was goalkeeper Diego Sanchez which brought to an end a run of 83 consecutive matches in the Primera Division. As for the result itself it was the visitors who ran out 3-1 winners with a Matias Donos netting a second half hat-trick. The striker could have had four but his 38th minute penalty came crashing back off the crossbar after Unión’s Matias Navarette was given a straight red for bringing down Donoso as the last man. Getting on the scoresheet for the home side was Carlos Salom, who in the ninth minute scored his fifth goal of the season.
In the day’s final match Iquique came back from two goals down to defeat Antofagasta in the Estadio Tierra de Campeones. All three of Iquique’s goals came courtesy of Manuel Villalobos in the second half after goals to Esteban Gonzalez and Cristian Canio had given the visitors a two goal advantage at the half time break. Villalobos’ last two goals came from the penalty spot whilst Antofagasta’s night was made worse as they finished the night with ten men after Daniel Gonzalez picked up his second yellow card in the 65th minute.
Sunday’s action kicked off with the clásico del cobre which saw Cobresal triumph 3-0 over Cobreloa, their first win over their opponents since 2009. The 3-0 result which came courtesy of second half goals to Mariano Torres, Victor Hugo Sarabia and Patricio Jerez, is the biggest win by Cobresal over their rivals since these two teams first met in the Primera Division on the 12 August 1984.
Sunday also saw Santiago Wanderers make a return to their home stadium, which is now known as the Estadio Elias Figueroa, and it was a happy occasion for them as they saw off Unión La Calera 1-0. Gaston Cellerino created a bit of history as the first player to score in the Primera Division in their new stadium when he found the back of the net in the 27th minute.
The final match of the round took place in the Estadio Santa Laura with Palestino unable to stop Colo Colo from maintaining their unbeaten start to the season as they went down 2-1. Both of Colo Colo’s came in the opening twenty minutes with Juan Delgado opening the scoring in the third minute before Esteban Paredes scored in his fourth consecutive match when he added a second in the eighteenth minute. Los albos had a few hairy moments in the dying moments after Sergio Lopez converted an 89th minute penalty but managed to hold onto their lead.
Primera Division Torneo Clausura 2014 , Round eight fixtures
A. Italiano 3-3 U. de Chile (J.R. Rojas (UCH) 2′, M. Medel (AI) 41′, F. Mora (AI) 49′ & 56′, P. Rubio (UCH) 61′, F. Castro (UCH) 85′)
Huachipato 1-0 Ñublense (L. Simón (HUA) 29′)
Rangers 0-0 U. Concepción
O’Higgins 2-0 U. Católica (P. Calandría (OHI) 31′, Y. Opazo (OHI) 90 +1′)
U.Española 1-3 Everton (C. Salom (UE) 9′, M. Donoso (EVE) 47′, 58′ & 89’)
Iquique 3-2 Antofagasta (E. González (ANT) 35′, C. Canío (ANT) 45′, M. Villalobos (IQQ) 66′, 78′ & 89′)
Cobresal 3-0 Cobreloa (M. Torres (CBS) 64′, V.H. Sarabia (CBS) 66′, P. Jerez (CBS) 78′)
S. Wanderers 1-0 U. La Calera (G. Cellerino (SW) 27′)
Palestino 1-2 Colo Colo (J. Delgado (CC) 3′, E. Paredes (CC) 18′, S. López (PAL) 89′)