The penultimate round of the Apertura season got under way in Rancagua on Friday night with O’Higgins and Audax Italiano sharing the points in a pulsating 1-1 draw. Octavio Rivero scored the opener for the home side in only the eighth minute and despite sustained dominance could not add to their tally and in the 76th minute the visitors drew level in the 76th minute courtesy of Diego Valdes. Audax Italiano had a chance to take a vital three points but Jorge Carranza saved Bryan Carrasco’s 80th minute penalty attempt.
Universidad Católica’s disastrous season continued on Saturday with a last minute Manuel Villalobos goal securing a 3-2 win for Iquique, their first win at home under manager Nelson Acosta. Their win was all the more memorable considering they played for more than an hour with ten men after Boris Rieloff was adjudged to be the last player when he brought down Alvaro Ramos on the half hour mark. Rieloff’s departure came after goals to Rafael Caroca and Manuel Villalobos had given Iquique a two goal advantage.
It took until the 70th minute for Católica got on the scoresheet courtesy of the aforementioned Ramos and it looked liked they would secure a point when he popped up once again in the 88th minute. However it wasn’t to be for Julio Cesar Falcioni’s men as Villalobos’ free kick in the 92nd minute secured all three points for Iquique.
Huachipato returned to the winning ways with a 2-1 win over San Marcos de Arica in the Estadio Carlos Dittborn. Huachipato, who haven’t quite been the same since the injury to Lucas Simon, dominated much of proceedings and held a two goal advantage for most of the game courtesy of goals to Andres Vilches and Omar Merlo. Nicolas Medina pulled one back for San Marco in the 77th minute but in the end it was little more than a consolation goal. With the win Huachipato give themselves some hope of qualification for the end of season liguilla whilst San Marcos once again drop back into the relegation zone.
Universidad de Concepción and Antofagasta kicked off proceedings on a busy Sunday with the former triumphing 1-0 courtesy of a solitary Gabriel Vargas goal in the 50th minute.
With the trio of Colo Colo, Universidad de Chile and Santiago Wanderers all vying for the title their matches for the final two rounds are to played simultaneously in order to avoid in favouritism towards any one team. All three teams continued their good form and picked up wins ensuring that the battle for the title will drag on into the final week and maybe longer.
Colo Colo maintained their position at the top of the table with a comfortable 4-1 win over Cobresal in the Estadio Monumental. Three of los albos’ four goals came in the first half courtesy of Christian Vilches, Gonzalo Fierro and Juan Delgado. Jaime Valdes added the fourth from the penalty spot fifteen minutes from time before Jair Reinoso grabbed a consolation goal for Cobresal in the 88th minute.
Meanwhile Universidad de Chile bounced back from their last start draw against Barnechea with a 3-0 defeat of Ñublense. A first half penalty to Gustavo Canales settled nerves before goals to Patricio Rubio, his eleventh of the campaign, and Ramon Fernandez ensured that the title race will go down to the wire.
Santiago Wanderers, who are looking to secure their first title since 2001, stayed in the title hunt with a 1-0 win over Unión La Calera. The only goal of the game in the came in the 78th minute courtesy of Roberto Gutierrez, who joined the aforementioned Rubio on eleven goals for the season in the process.
In the final match on Sunday, Cobresal picked up an important three points as they defeated Barnechea 3-1 in the Estadio San Carlos. The scores were level at half time courtesy of goals to Matias Donoso for Cobresal and Francisco Ibañez for Barnechea before second half goals to Ever Cantero and Hans Salinas secured all three points for the visitors.
The weekend’s final match took place on Monday night with Palestino securing themselves a spot in the end of season liguilla with a 5-2 defeat of Unión Española in the clasico de colonias. It was a dominant second half performance from los arabes with a brace from Leonardo Valecia and a goal to Paulo Diaz seeing them triumph after scores were locked at 2-2 at the half time break.
Primera Division Torneo Apertura 2014, Round sixteen results
O’Higgins 1-1 A. Italiano (O. Rivero (OHI) 8′, D. Valdes (AI) 76′)
Iquique 3-2 U. Católica (R. Caroca (IQQ) 2′, M. Villalobos (IQQ) 23′ & 92′, A. Ramos (UC) 70′ & 88′)
SM Arica 1-2 Huachipato (A. Vilches (HUA) 10′, O. Merlo (HUA) 22′, N. Medina (SMA) 77′)
U. Concepción 1-0 Antofagasta (G. Vargas (UDC) 50′)
Colo Colo 4-1 Cobresal (C. Vilches (CC) 9′, G. Fierro (CC) 26′, J. Delgado (CC) 33′, J. Valdes (CC) 75′, J. Reinoso (COB) 88′)
Ñublense 0-3 U. Chile (G. Canales (UCH) 17′, P. Rubio (UCH) 62′, R. Fernandez (UCH) 84′)
U. La Calera 0-1 S. Wanderers (R. Gutierrez (SW) 78′)
Barnechea 1-3 Cobresal (M. Donoso (COS) 16′, F. Ibanez (BAR) 19′, E. Cantero (COS) 55′, H. Salinas (COS) 73′)
U. Española 2-5 Palestino (F. Saavedra (UE) 13′, R. Ramos (PAL) 19′ & 24′, M. Gonzalez (UE) 21′, P. Diaz (PAL) 52′, L. Valencia (PAL) 70′ & 83′)
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