Campeonato Clausura 2014: Week Eleven Review

Football, Universidad de Chile vs Iquique.

The goals well and truly dried up in week eleven of the Clausura with an average of 1.9 goals scored over the eight games played so far, the lowest goal per game average so far this season. The weekend also saw Colo Colo’s winning streak come to an end when they were held to a scoreless draw and Universidad Católica duly capitalised with a win whilst O’Higgins could not make up any ground after they were also held scoreless. The round also saw important wins for Huachipato and Everton as they both look to avoid relegation to the Primera B.

The weekend’s fixture began on Friday night with Huachipato keeping alive their chances of maintaining their Primera Division status as they defeated Cobresal 1-0 in the Estadio CAP. The win came in controversial circumstances with David Llanos appearing to be in an offside position when he scored the winner in the 77th minute. Following the game the club took the extraordinary step of criticising the refereeing standards that had gifted them important wins over Cobresal and two weeks earlier against O’Higgins. The win however was not enough to drag them out of the bottom two of the coeficiente de rendimiento table but does give them some hope of survival.

Saturday’s action kicked off in the north of the country as Cobreloa ended Colo Colo’s run of seven consecutive wins as they held them to a scoreless draw in the Estadio Calvo y Bascuñan. The draw also brought Esteban Paredes’s run of scoring in everyone of those wins and in hindsight Cobreloa could consider themselves very unlucky not to have taken the three points, putting in a performance that belies their seventeenth position on the table.

In Saturday’s next match Universidad de Chile bounced back from their last start loss to O’Higgins with a come from behind 3-1 defeat of Iquique in the Estadio CAP. La U had a chance to open the scoring in the 16th minute from the penalty spot but Iquique goalkeeper Rodrigo Naranjo kept Isaac Diaz’s effort at bay after Nicolás Ortiz was adjudged to have fouled Diaz in the area. Sixteen minutes it was Iquique who took the lead courtesy of Pablo Gonzalez before Patricio Rubio levelled things up four minutes before half time. After the break baby-faced Fabian Carmona gave Universidad de Chile the lead with a strike from just outside the area. Rubio got his brace in the dying stages of the matches and came only moments after Iquique’s Manuel Villalobos failed to level things up from the penalty spot.

Saturday’s action drew to its conclusion in the Estadio Bicentenario Nelson Oyarzún with Ñublense stretching their unbeaten run to three matches with a 2-1 victory over Audax Italiano. Both of los diablos rojos’ goals came in the first half with Tomas Lanzini and Emanuel Croce getting on the scoresheet in the 20th and 34th minutes respectively. Alejandro Vasquez pulled one back for Audax Italiano with three minutes left on the clock to give the home side some nervous moments in the dying stages but in the end it wasn’t enough. The loss puts Audax in danger of being dragged into the relegation struggle as they sit in fifteenth position on the coeficiente de rendimiento table, only 0.36 above second last placed Huachipato.

Whilst Colo Colo’s thirtieth title looks almost inevitable at the other end of the table the same could be said about Rangers’ relegation to Primera B after the suffered yet another loss, this time a 3-1 loss to Antofagasta in the Estadio Fiscal del Talca and had the ignominy of finishing the match with only players on the pitch in Sunday’s opening match. Luis Valenzuala opened the scoring for Antofagasta in the fourth minute before Fabian Bordagaray levelled things up five minutes after the half time break. Four minutes later the home side were reduced to ten men as Sebastián Domínguez received his marching orders and he was joined on the sidelines by Francisco Tapia seven minutes as he gave a penalty that Javier Elizondo duly converted. Juan Gonzalo Lorca made it three for Antofagasta on 69 minutes before Rodolfo Gonzalez became the third Rangers player to receive a red card in the 90th minute. The loss puts Rangers in real danger of relegation as they site bottom of the coeficiente de rendimento table with a sizeable gap opening up to the team above them.

With one eye on this week’s Copa Libertadores action, O’Higgins made nine changes to their starting line up that faced Cerro Porteño during the week and were unable to capitalise on Colo Colo’s earlier stumble as they were also held to a scoreless draw at the hands of Universidad de Concepción in Sunday’s final game in the Estadio Bicentenario Nelson Oyarzún. The draw was Universidad de Concepción’s fifth consecutive draw and have not picked up three points since week three of the competition.

The weekend’s action continued on Monday night with Universidad Católica able to do what O’Higgins were unable to do and close the gap on Colo Colo at the top of the table to four points after they defeated Santiago Wanderers 2-0 in the Estadio Elias Figueroa. The result was very much overshadowed by the injury to Marko Biskupovic, who suffered a badly broken leg following a challenge by Marco Sebastian Pol in the 21st minute, with the Argentine given his marching orders as a result of the tackle. That incident came after Dario Botinelli had given los cruzados the lead in the eighth minute with a free kick that Santiago Wanderers’ goalkeeper, José Lafrentz, should have dealt with much better. The sealer came in the 80th minute as Alvaro Ramos finished off a lethal counter-attack by the visitors.

The penultimate match of the round (the final match between Unión Española and Palestino takes place next week) saw Everton inch their way out of relegation danger with a 1-0 win over Unión La Calera in the Estadio Elias Figueroa on Tuesday night. The only goal of the game in the 38th minute when Emiliano Romero converted from the penalty spot. The win is Everton is third in their last four matches and sees them move to fourteenth position on the coeficiente de rendimiento table.

Primera Division Torneo Clausura 2014 , Round eleven fixtures

Huachipato 1-0 Cobresal (D. Llanos (HUA) 77′)
Cobreloa 0-0 Colo Colo
U. de Chile 3-1 Iquique (P. González (IQQ) 32′, P. Rubio (UCH) 41′ & 90′, F. Carmona (UCH) 52′)
Ñublense 2-1 A. Italiano (T. Lanzini (NUB) 20′, E. Croce, (NUB) 34′, A. Vásquez (AI) 87′)
Rangers 1-3 Antofagasta (L. Valenzuela (ANT) 4′, F. Bordagaray (RAN) 50′, J. Elizondo (ANT) 62′ J.G. Lorca (ANT) 69′)
O’Higgins 0-0 U. Concepción
S. Wanderers 0-2 U. Católica (D. Botinelli (UC) 8′, Á. Ramos (UC) 80′)
Everton 1-0 U. La Calera (E. Romero (EVE) 38′)

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