It wasn’t a great week for Chilean teams in the opening week of the Copa Sudamericana as three of the four teams suffered defeats in the first legs of their meetings. The only team that can hold their head is Huachipato, who carried their good domestic form into the continental competition.
Iquique have a tough task ahead of them to make it to the next stage of the tournament after going down 2-0 to Bolivian side Universitario de Sucre in the first leg of their encounter held in Bolivia on Tuesday night. The Bolivians scored a goal in each half courtesy of Alejandro Bejarano and Matías Palavicini and will take a significant advantage going into the return leg next Wednesday.
Meanwhile on the same night, Huachipato fared much better against Bolivian opponents as they defeated San Jose 3-1 in the Estadio CAP. Unlike on the weekend the lights remained on for the whole match with Andres Vilches the hero of the evening with a brace, including a goal in the opening minute, whilst Leandro Delgado got the other goal for the home side. Getting on the scoresheet for the visitors was Mauro Bustamante who converted a penalty after Leonardo Povea handled the ball in the area. The return leg takes place next Tuesday in Bolivia.
On Wednesday night, Cobresal, who made a return to continental competition for the first time in twenty-eight years, also suffered a loss going down to the impressively named General Diaz 2-1 in Luque, Paraguay. José Cantillana opened the scoring for the home side in the thirteenth minute before Patricio Jeréz levelled things up fourteen minutes later with a spectacular long range effort. However any thoughts of a successful return to the continental stage were put to bed as Roberto Gamarra connected with a Blas Cáceres cross in the 71st minute to give the Paraguayans the advantage going into the second leg in El Salvador next Wednesday.
On Thursday night, Universidad Católica’s run of recent bad continued as they lost 1-0 to Uruguayan side River Plate 1-0 in the Estadio San Carlos de Apoquimbo. The only goal of the game came in the 77th minute courtesy of Michael Santos, who finished off an excellent counter attack. Los cruzados have a big task ahead of them in the return leg next Wednesday in Montevideo with manager Julio Cesar Falcioni coming under increasing criticism.