Campeonato Clausura 2014: Week Sixteen Review

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With Colo Colo having won the title last weekend, this weekend the attention turned to the other end of the table with Rangers’ becoming the first of two teams to be relegated to the Primera B whilst a win for Huachipato gave them hope of survival but did no favours for their opponents, Unión La Calera. Meanwhile a win for Santiago Wanderers ensured their top flight status but a draw for Everton and a win for Audax Italiano meant that the relegation battle will involve four teams going into the final fixture of the season.

The weekend’s opening match on Saturday afternoon saw Rangers lose their top flight status following a 2-0 loss at the hands of Audax Italiano in the Estadio Bicentenario Fiscal del Talca. Audax, who are still in danger of relegation themselves got a vital three points courtesy of goals to Bryan Carrasco (60′) and Felipe Mora (90′) whilst their opponents finished the match with nine men with both Francisco Tapia and Jorge Valenzuela getting their marching orders late on in proceedings. This is the tenth time that Rangers have been relegated from the Primera Division with the others occurring 1976, 1978, 1982, 1987, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2006 and 2009.

After claiming their third Copa Chile title during the week Iquique continued their good form on Saturday afternoon with a 1-0 win over Palestino in the Estadio La Cisterna. The only goal of the game came courtesy of Cesar Pinares in the 26th minute but the 2014 Copa Chile champions had to play the last forty minutes a man down after Manuel Villalobos picked up a second yellow card in the 50th minute.

The wheels have well have truly fallen off at Universidad de Chile with the 2011 Copa Libertadores champions slumping to their fourth consecutive loss with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Universidad de Concepción. Not since 1991 have La U lost four games in a row and it was a sixtieth minute Pedro Muñoz goal that did the damage for the home side. Not helping matters for los azules was that they finished the match with eight men on the pitch after Sebastian Martinez picked up two yellow cards inside forty-two minutes, Juan Rodrigo Rojas received a straight red in the 64th minute whilst Igor Lichnovsky received his marching orders eight minutes later.

In Saturday’s penultimate game, O’Higgins secured their position in this year’s edition of the Supercopa with a 3-1 victory over Unión Española, who had one eye of this week’s Copa Libertadores knockout tie against Arsenal de Sarandi of Argentina. Getting on the scoresheet for O’Higgins were Diego Chaves and Yerson Opazo in the tenth and 52nd minutes respectively before Gustavo Canales pulled one back from the penalty spot in the 68th minute. Either side of the Canales’ goal Unión found the back of the net twice but Carlos Salom was ruled offside on both occasions.

Former Unión player and now O’Higgins captain, Braulio Leal then put the match beyond doubt in the 78th minute. The win ensured O’Higgins will face Iquique in the Supercopa, as they have accumulated the more points over the year than Clausura champions, Colo Colo. The Supercopa, which was won by O’Higgins’ opponents on the weekend in its first edition, will be held on the 3rd of May in the Estadio San Carlos de Apoquimbo.

A week after putting five goals past Universidad de Chile, Huachipato continued their quest for Primera Division survival by putting six past Unión La Calera, who themselves will be one of four teams in danger of relegation come the final weekend. Half of Huachipato’s goals came courtesy of David Llanos, who shot to the top of the goalscoring charts as a result, whilst Felipe Reynero, Jose Contreras and Francisco Arrué got the three other goals. This was the only second time that Huachipato have won by this scoreline with their last 6-0 result coming in 1975 against Aviación.

Sunday’s action with a clásico as Colo Colo and Universidad Católica shared the spoils in a two-all draw in the Estadio Monumental. Colo Colo got off to flyer with Emiliano Vecchio finding the back of the net after only three minutes after earlier dispossessing Católica midfielder Milovan Mirosevic. Just after the half hour mark Colo Colo were hit with a blow as they had to replace goalkeeper Justo Villar, who was involved in a collision with Universidad Católica forward, Ramiro Costa.

This sparked a crazy ten or so minutes in which Costa levelled the scores in the 34th minute before Felipe Flores restored Colo Colo’s lead two minutes later. However los albos‘ joy was short lived as José Luis Muñoz once again brought los cruzados back on level terms in the 39th minute. To cap things off Ramiro Costa, whose collision with Villar sparked everything off, then received his marching orders in the 42nd minute for a foul on Gonzalo Fierro, although replays suggest it was a harsh decision. Despite the man advantage Colo Colo didn’t create many scoring opportunities in the second half and in fact it was their opponents who had the better chances to take all three points.

Kicking off half an hour after the aforementioned clásico was another clásico as Antofagasta and Cobreloa faced off in the clásico de la segunda region. And it was Antofagasta who triumphed with a solitary goal  from Javier Elizondo in the 33rd minute although Cobreloa did have their chances in the second half with Antofagasta goalkeeper Jorge Broun denying efforts from  Luis Jiménez, Cristián Gaitán and Alvaro Lopez.

The day’s next game saw the second draw of the afternoon as Everton and Ñublense shared the spoils in a one-all draw in the Estadio Santa Laura. Both goals came in the second half courtesy of Sebastian Varas (Ñublense) and Camilo Ponce (Everton) with the result leaving Everton still in danger of a return to the Primera B as they sit in the remaining relegation spot with one round to play.

In the weekend’s final match which took place on Monday night, Santiago Wanderers confirmed their top flight status for the next two season with a 2-0 defeat of Cobresal in the Estadio Elias Figueroa. Both goals came late on with Sebastian Méndez opening the scoring in the 82nd minute before Roberto Saldías quelled any doubts six minutes later.

Primera Division Torneo Clausura 2014 , Round sixteen fixtures

Rangers 0-2 A. Italiano (B. Carrasco (AI) 60′, F. Mora (AI) 90′)
Palestino 0-1 Iquique (C. Pinares (IQQ) 26′)
U. Concepción 1-0 U. de Chile (P. Muñoz (UDC) 60′)
U. Española 1-3 O’Higgins (D. Chaves (OHI) 10′, Y. Opazo (OHI) 52′, G. Canales (UE) 68, B. Leal (OHI) 78′)
U. La Calera 0-6 Huachipato (D. Llanos (HUA) 4′, 41′ & 79, F. Reynero (HUA) 20′, J. Contreras (HUA) 29′, F. Arrué (HUA) 69′)
Colo Colo 2-2 U. Católica (E. Vecchio (CC) 3′, R. Costa (UC) 34′, F. Flores (CC) 36′, J.L. Muñoz (UC) 39′)
Cobreloa 0-1 Antofagasta (J. Elizondo ANT) 33′)
Everton 1-1 Ñublense (S. Varas (NUB) 48′, C. Ponce (EVE) 58′)
S. Wanderers 2-0 Cobresal (S. Méndez (SW) 82′, R. Saldías (SW) 88′)

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