The twelfth week of the 2014 Clausura season looks to be have a defining one with Colo Colo opening up a seven point gap at the top of the table after they defeated Apertura champions O’Higgins whilst rivals Universidad de Chile did them a huge favour with a win of Universidad Católica in the clásico universitario. Meanwhile at the other end of the table Rangers look all but certain to be relegated with a number of other teams looking to scramble out of that other relegation spot.
The weekend’s action commenced on Friday with a relegation six pointer (or whatever the coeficiente de rendimiento equivalent is) as neither Audax Italiano and Huachipato did themselves any favours with a scoreless draw in the Estadio Bicentenario La Florida. The result sees Huachipato remain in second last position on that aforementioned table whilst Audax are only marginally ahead in fifteenth position.
Universidad de Concepción returned to the winners’ list for the first time since week three after they defeated Santiago Wanderers 2-1 in the Estadio CAP in Saturday’s opening fixture. Leonardo Monje opened the scoring for the home side in the 39th minute before Fernando Manriquez doubled the advantage in the 61st minute with a spectacular volley. Gaston Cellerino managed to pull a goal back in the 88th minute but in the end it wasn’t enough to provide interim manager Hector Robles any chance of picking up his first win with the club.
In Saturday’s second and final match a 96th minute Javier Elizondo penalty saw Antofagasta defeat Palestino 2-1 in the Estadio Calvo y Bascuñan. The scoring opened in the 42nd minute when Rodrigo Riquelme turned a Luis Valenzuela cross into his own net putting Antofagasta 1-0 up going into the half time break. Claudio Latorre levelled things up for Palestino in the 62nd minute before referee Jorge adjudged Javier Capelli to have fouled Valenzuela in the area in the third minute of stoppage time with Elizondo stepping up and giving the northerners an important win.
Sunday was a monster day of football with six matches taking place and it kicked off just after midday with the clásico universitario which saw Universidad de Chile defeat Universidad Católica 3-0 in the Estadio San Carlos de Apoquimbo. Patricio Rubio kicked off the scoring in the 18th minute as he pounced on an errant Fernando Cordero back pass before scoring past Cristopher Toselli. La U were on top for much of the remainder of the half but could not add to their tally go into the break.
After the break the introduction of Fernando Meneses meant that los cruzados looked much more dangerous in attack but it was the visitors who doubled their advantage four minutes before full time courtesy of Gustavo Lorenzetti before Rubio put the icing on the cake in the first minute of stoppage time. Pleased as they may have been with the win La U may have very well given arch rivals Colo Colo a helping hand in their quest for a thirtieth league title.
Unión Española buoyed by their midweek success in the Copa Libertadores put four goals past the hapless Rangers with no reply in the Estadio Santa Laura. Patricio Vidal, in a rare start, scored la furia roja’s opening two goals before Dagoberto Currimilla and Carlos Salom finished the job off with goals of their own in the latter stages of the match. The loss puts Rangers in real danger of relegation as a gap looks to be opening up between them and the teams above them on the coeficiente de rendimiento table.
Meanwhile Cobresal, who for the last few years have been relegation candidates, look to have avoided that this season as they defeated Ñublense 2-1 in the Estadio El Cobre with the match kicking off at the same time as the aforementioned encounter. All the game’s goals came in the space of eleven minutes in the second half as Luciano Vasquez opened the scoring for the visitors in 56th minute before goals to Alvaro Navarro and Ever Cantero in the 58th and 67th minutes respectively saw the home side take the three points.
After holding Colo Colo scoreless last week Cobreloa continued their good form with a 1-0 victory over Unión La Calera, their first win in six matches. The only goal of the game came in the 70th minute courtesy of Cristian Gaitan and puts La Calera in real danger of relegation as they now have the same coefficient as Huachipato who sit in second last position on the coeficiente de rendimiento table.
There still may be five rounds to go in this season but week twelve of the 2014 Clausura may well and truly be marked as the one where Colo Colo took the biggest step in securing that elusive thirtieth title. After Universidad de Chile’s win earlier in the day, Colo Colo knew that a win against challengers O’Higgins would see them move seven points clear at the top of the table. And win they duly did with a 3-0 victory over their rivals in the Estadio Monumental.
They started the match with a bang with Felipe Flores opening the scoring in the first minute of the game, with O’Higgins surely having a sense of de ja vu following their midweek earlier concession of goals. Whilst O’Higgins did have their chances to equalise, most notably Braulio Leal’s effort which came back off the crossbar, it was Claudio Baeza effort in the 80th minute which all but sealed the deal for the home side. Baeza’s goal came shortly after play had been stopped for a number of minutes due to fireworks let off by Colo Colo fans, something which is sure to earn them a significant fine. The game’s final came in the dying moments with Esteban Paredes returning to the scorers’ list as he converted from the penalty spot. Now ten points behind their rivals, O’Higgins will now surely turn their attention to ensuring they advance from their group in the Copa Libertadores.
The weekend’s final match took place in the north of the country with Iquique moving to third position on the table with a 2-0 victory over Everton in the Estadio Tierra de Campeones. Second half goals to Walter Mazzolatti and Gaston Martinez ensured all three points for the northerners and saw leapfrog O’Higgins on the table.
Primera Division Torneo Clausura 2014 , Round twelve fixtures
A. Italiano 0-0 Huachipato
U. Concepción 2-1 S. Wandrers (L. Monje (UDC) 39′, F. Manríquez (UDC) 61′, G. Cellerino (SW) 88′)
Antofagasta 2-1 Palestino (R. Riquelme (PAL) (og) 42′, C. Latorre (PAL) 62′, J. Elizondo (ANT) 90 +6′)
U. Católica 0-3 U. de Chile (P. Rubio (UCH) 18′ & 90 +1′, G. Lorenzetti (UCH) 86′)
U. Española 4-0 Rangers (P. Vidal (UE) 27′ & 65′, D. Currimilla (UE) 70′, C. Salom (UE) 89′)
Cobresal 2-1 Ñublense (L. Vásquez (NUB) 56′, Á. Navarro (CBS) 58’ , E. Cantero (CBS) 67′)
U. La Calera 0-1 Cobreloa (C. Gaitán (CBA) 70′)
Colo Colo 3-0 O’Higgins (F. Flores (CC) 1′, C. Baeza (CC) 80′, E. Paredes (CC) 90 +8′)
Iquique 2-0 Everton (W. Mazzolatti (IQQ) 67′, G. Martínez (IQQ) 84′)