Campeonato Clausura 2014: Week Fifteen Review

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The fifteenth week of the Clausura season saw five years of heartbreak came to an end for Chile’s biggest club as they claimed their 30th Primera Division title with two rounds to play with a win over Santiago Wanderers whilst Universidad Católica secured continental action for next season. At the other end of the table there were wins for Rangers, Everton and Huachipato and a loss for Audax Italiano resulting a tense few weeks for those teams at the wrong end of the of table.

In the weekend’s opening match an 84th minute goal from Francisco Alarcón gave Rangers some more hope of Primera Division survival as they defeated Iquique 1-0 in the Estadio La Pintana on Friday afternoon. The win which came despite the sending off of Gervasio Nuñez in the 69th minute and whilst it still leaves Rangers on the bottom of the points table for both seasons but are now only two points behind the team above them.

Sitting above Rangers on the aforementioned table are Audax Italiano who did themselves no favours with a 3-1 loss at the hands of Cobresal in Friday’s second game. Alexis Salazar’s header opened the scoring in the 27th minute for Cobresal before Marco Medel equalised for Audax in the 73rd minute. Parity only lasted for seven minutes as Lucas Parodi finished off an excellent counter attack to restore Cobresal’s lead before Rodrigo Ureña put the icing on the cake in the second minute of injury time. The win was Cobresal’s first win over Audax Italiano in Santiago since 1985.

Saturday’s action kicked off in the Estadio Santa Laura with Unión Española following on from their midweek Copa Libertadores goal fest with a 2-1 win over Universidad de Concepción. All the game’s goals came from the penalty spot with Gustavo Canales scoring both of the home side’s goals whilst Gabriel Vargas did the same for the visitors.

Everton pulled themselves out of the automatic relegation spots and ended Cobreloa’s run of three consecutive wins with a 2-0 victory in the Estadio Bicentenario Elías Figueroa. Both of their goals came either side of half time with Emiliano Romero opening the scoring in the 36th minute before Fernando Saavedra added a second goal three minutes after the half time break.

Saturday’s penultimate match took place in the Estadio San Carlos with Universidad Católica qualifying for the 2014 Copa Sudamericana and ensuring that Colo Colo would have to win their match the next day to win their 30th title with a 2-0 victory over Antofagasta. In what was an ill-tempered encounter it was second half goals to José Luis Muñoz and Álvaro Ramos that ensured continental action for los cruzados.

After their disappointing exit from the Copa Libertadores midweek things didn’t get any better for O’Higgins in Saturday’s final game as they were held to a scoreless draw by Unión La Calera in the Estadio Municpal La Pintana. The draw however did not do La Calera any favours as they are only two points above the relegation zone and will have a nervous last two weeks of the season.

After Universidad Católica’s win on Saturday, all that was required of Colo Colo to claim that elusive 30th Primera Division title was a win over Santiago Wanderers in Sunday’s opening fixture. And that is just what they did defeating the team Valpairiso with a solitary Felipe Flores goal on the stroke of half time which ended five years of quasi-heartbreak for the nation’s biggest and most supported club. The win stretched Colo Colo’s unbeaten streak in the Estadio Monumental over Wanderers to ten matches, with Wanderers last win coming in 2002.

In Sunday’s next Huachipato ended a four match losing streak to Universidad de Chile in the Estadio CAP coming from two goals down to defeat los azules 5-2. La U would have been feeling fairly comfortable at half time as they lead 2-0 courtesy of goals to Fabian Carmona and Matias Caruzzo but that was all thrown out the window as Huachipato put five goals past goalkeeper Luis Marin in the second half to earn what could be an important win for a team looking to avoid relegation. Getting on the scoresheet for Huachipato were Carlos Espinosa, Lucas Simon (x2), Omar Merlo and Mauricio Yedro.

The weekend’s action ended in Chillian with Palestino securing themselves a chance of continental action in the post-season playoffs with a 2-0 victory over Ñublense. The win, which ended a four game winless streak, came courtesy of goals to Rodrigo Riquelme and Esteban Carvajal whilst los rojos diablos finished the match with ten after Luciano Vasquez received his marching orders in the 66th minute.

Primera Division Torneo Clausura 2014 , Round fifteen fixtures

Iquique 0-1 Rangers (F. Alarcón (RAN) 84′)
A. Italiano 1-3 Cobresal (A. Salazar (CSL) 27′, M. Medel (AI) 73′, L. Parodi, (CSL) 80′, R. Ureña (CSL) 90 +2′)
U. Española 2-1 U. Concepción (G. Canales (UE) 38′ & 82, G. Vargas (UDC) 75)
Everton 2-0 Cobreloa (E. Romero (EVE) 36′ , F. Saavedra (EVE) 48′)
U. Católica 2-0 Antofagasta (J.L. Muñoz (UC) 53′, Á. Ramos (UC) 73′)
O’Higgins 0-0 U. La Calera
Colo Colo 1-0 S. Wanderers (F. Flores (CC) 45′)
Huachipato 5-2 U. de Chile (F. Carmona (UCH) 21′, M. Caruzzo (UCH) 28′, C. Espinosa (HUA) 50′, L. Simón (HUA) 58′ & 86′, O. Merlo (HUA) 68′, M. Yedro (HUA) 81′)
Ñublense 0-2 Palestino (R. Riquelme (PAL) 35′, E. Carvajal (PAL) 63′)

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