We are now in the second half of the Clausura season and it now looks inevitable that Colo Colo will stroll to the title as they stretched their lead at the top of the table to six points after fellow contender O’Higgins suffered a shock loss at the hands of Huachipato. Meanwhile Everton grabbed the bragging rights with a win over Santiago Wanderers in the clásico porteño.
The weekend’s action kicked off on Thursday night with Universidad Católica bouncing back from their last start loss to O’Higgins with a 1-0 victory over Iquique in the Estadio San Carlos de Apoquimbo. Despite creating numerous chances they only found a way past Iquique goalkeeper Rodrigo Naranjo, who was in fine form, once courtesy of Álvaro Ramos in the 39th minute.
On Friday night Colo Colo continued inexorably to their thirtieth league title with a 3-2 defeat of Cobresal in the Estadio Monumental. Esteban Paredes, who scored in his fifth consecutive match for los albos, opened the scoring for the home side in the 9th minute before Paraguayan Ever Cantero levelled things up for the visitors fourteen minutes later. Colo Colo added two more courtesy of Juan Delgado and Felipe Flores in the 47th and 73rd minutes respectively before Lino Maldonado gave the home side some nervous moments in the dying stages as he scored his side’s second goal in the 90th minute.
Saturday’s action kicked off with a goal fest in the Estadio Santa Laura as Universidad de Chile and Unión Española fought out a pulsating 3-3 draw. Rodrigo Mora kicked off the scoring with a 29th minute penalty for La U and had a chance to double that advantage on the stroke of half time once again from the penalty spot but Unión goalkeeper Diego Sanchez was up to the task. Following the miss Unión went up the other end and made their opponents pay for that penalty miss as Matias Campos Toro scored his first goal for la furia roja and ensured the two teams went into the break on level terms.
Ruben Farfan then gave los azules the advantage once again in the 59th minute before Gustavo Canales levelled things up from the penalty spot seven minutes later after La U’s Igor Lichnovsky was given his marching orders for a second yellow card. Ten minutes later Gustavo Lorenzetti gave Universidad de Chile the lead once again before Nicolas Berardo ensured the spoils would be shared when he found the back of the net in the 79th minute. This was only the sixteenth time these two time have shared the spoils in their sixty-seven meetings in the Primera Division.
The day’s next match saw O’Higgins make a return to the Estadio CAP for the first time since last year’s tradegy where sixteen of their fans died in a bus accident returning from the aforementioned stadium. And it wasn’t a day to remember on the pitch as they lost 1-0 to Huachipato with a solitary Fernando Arrué penalty in the seventh minute proving to be the difference between the two sides as the home side secured their second successive win and moved off the bottom of the coeficiente de rendimiento table in the process.
Universidad de Concepción obviously like to do things in three this season as they secured their third consecutive draw with a two-all draw with Audax Italiano in the Estadio Bicentenario La Florida in Saturday’s final match. The three draws have come after three consecutive losses, which followed on three consecutive wins to start the season. They did however leave it late to secure a share of the points with Sixto Peralta grabbing the equaliser in the fifth minute of stoppage time after Felipe Mora had given the home side the lead four minutes earlier. The games’ other two goals came within the first twenty-one minutes with Ruben Ramirez opening the scoring for Audax in the ninth minute before Gabriel Vargas equalised from the penalty spot twelve minutes later.
In Sunday’s opening match Cobreloa’s winless streak stretched to four matches as they went down 1-0 to Palestino in the Estadio La Madriguera. It has been just over twelve years since Palestino has picked up a win in Calama and this time they have Juan Ignacio Duma for scoring what was to be the winner in the 79th minute of proceedings.
Much of the day’s focus was on the clásico porteño, which was taking place for the third consecutive time outside Viña del Mar or Valparaiso, and it was Everton who continued the mini-resurgence under Nelson Acosta defeating Santiago Wanderers 2-1 in the Estadio Santa Laura. Matias Donoso continued his rich vein of goalscoring form as he grabbed the opener on the half hour mark before former Universidad Católica midfielder equalised for Wanderers nine minutes later to ensure both teams would go into the break on level terms. It would be a clásico porteño without a red card and Santiago Wanderers’ Fernando de la Fuente duly obliged by getting himself sent off a minute into the second half. Seventeen minutes later Angel Rojas put Everton in front and they managed to hold onto that lead despite themselves going a man down in the 71st minute when Marcos Velásquez picked up his second yellow card of the afternoon.
In the final match of the round it took a ninetieth minute Matias Riquero goal to separate Ñublense and Rangers with the former picking up an important three points in the Estadio Bicentenario Nelson Oyarzún.
Primera Division Torneo Clausura 2014 , Round nine fixtures
U. Católica 1-0 Iquique (Á. Ramos (UC) 39′)
Colo Colo 3-2 Cobresal (E. Paredes (CC) 9′, E. Cantero (CBS) 23′, J. Delgado (CC) 47′, F. Flores (CC) 73′, L. Maldonado (CBS) 90′)
U. de Chile 3-3U. Española (R. Mora (UCH) 29′, M. Campos Toro (UE) 45′, R. Farfán (UCH) 59′, G. Canales (UE) 66′, G. Lorenzetti (UCH) 76, N. Berardo (UE) 79′)
Antofagasta 2-3 U. La Calera (P. Rosales (ULC) 15′, L. Benegas (ULC) 30′ & 47, J. Elizondo (ANT) 74′ , J. Lorca (ANT) 79′)
Huachipato 1-0 O’Higgins (F. Arrué (HUA) 7′)
A. Italiano 2-2 U. Concepción (R. Ramírez (AI) 9′, G. Vargas (UDC) 21′, F. Mora (AI) 90′ +1, S. Peralta (UCH) 90′ +5)
Cobreloa 0-1 Palestino (J.I. Duma (PAL) 79′)
Everton 2-1 S. Wanderers (M. Donoso (EVE) 30, M. Mier (SW) 39′, Á. Rojas (EVE) 63′)
Ñublense 1-0 Rangers (M. Riquero (NUB) 90′)