Cobresal makes history with win over Colo Colo, while Universidad de Chile draws with Iquique.Colo Colo 1-2 Cobresal
Colo Colo striker Carlos Muñoz struck for the third game running Sunday, yet it wasn’t enough as the home team lost to Cobresal at the Estadio Monumental for the first time.
If poor form weren’t enough, Colo Colo has been fighting fires off the field. Soccer’s darkside came to the forefront last week after a clash between rival Colo Colo fan factions resulted in the brutal murder
of a 27-year-old supporter.
A somber mood enshrouded the restricted capacity stadium, and Muñoz did what he could to lift spirits by putting his team ahead with a simple finish on the half-hour mark.
Colo Colo took its foot off the gas and was duly punished just before the half when a rare Cobresal foray forward ended in a goal from striker Miguel Cuéllar. Colo Colo center-backs Christian Vilches and Pablo Contreras were both guilty of some horrendous ball-watching, as Cuellar sauntered into the box to bash a powerful header past keeper Renny Vega.
The teams continued from the same script in the second half. Colo Colo dominated from midfield yet failed to find openings, and a grateful Cobresal scored on the hour mark through another defensive blunder.
Vega came off his line to claim a seemingly non-threatening freekick, but made a meal of the catch, batting the ball down onto the arm of Contreras and into the net for an own-goal.
Colo Colo responded with attacking intent, yet the team could not catch a break. The players may have found it comical, were it not so frustrating, when substitute striker Felipe Flores’ goal-bound effort was blocked by his own teammate, midfielder Manuel Bravo.
“We need to improve our finishing,” embattled Colo Colo manager Omar Labruna said
after the match. “In the first half we had eight or ten chances we could not take. We must avoid this in the future.”Iquique 0-0 Universidad de Chile
La U drew against Iquique on Saturday for the fourth consecutive time. While the team was rarely threatened at the back, it may concern La U that its attacking contingent was so easily thwarted by an unfazed Iquique defense.
La U coach Jorge Sampaoli held back several starters, possibly with an eye on La U’s first ever game outside South America on the horizon. As winners of last year’s Copa Sudamericana, La U plays in Japan next week against J. League Cup winners Kashima Antlers in the Suruga Bank Cup.
Sampaoli surprised many by starting midfielder Luciano Civelli, less than a week after signing from Paraguay club Libertad for a fee thought to be just under US$2 million. The 25-year-old Argentine seemed understandably lost at times, though his height and physical presence may yet add to La U’s underwhelming aerial threat.
Roberto Cereceda struck the bar for La U in the first half after being given far too much space by a retreating Iquique backline, and fellow midfielder Guillermo Marino twice came close minutes later.
New La U center midfielder Ezequiel Videla, signed to replace
the departed Marcelo Díaz, went some way to reverse the opinion that he lacks Díaz’s cutting edge going forward. Twice the Argentine showed good technique from long range to trouble Iquique keeper Rodrigo Naranjo.
In the closing stages, La U keeper Johnny Herrera produced a fine save to deny midfielder Rodrigo Díaz and end the game all square.O’Higgins 1-3 Unión Española
Victorious Unión Española surprised hometeam O’Higgins on Saturday with a varied blend of attacking prowess.
Española striker Patricio Rubio produced a well-timed turn and half volley in the box on 25 minutes. Forward Richard Blanco tied it up for O’Higgins with a rebounded penalty ten minutes later.
Two Española goals in quick succession after the restart proved an insurmountable deficit for the home side. Midfielder Diego Scotti produced a thunderous volley from range to double the lead, and some slick build up play saw forward Sebastián Jaime nab the third.Santiago Wanderers 2-2 Rangers
Wanderers threw away a two goal lead to share the points with Rangers on Saturday.
Striker Pablo Calandria did all the work before his rebounded shot fell kindly to teammate and midfielder Roberto Órdenes who duly scored. Things got better for Wanderers just after the break, when Rangers defender Francisco Tapia slotted in an excruciating own goal.
Some bad marking at a corner and a goalkeeping blunder let Rangers back in through defender Jorge Ormeño and striker Mauricio Gómez respectively.Palestino 1-0 Unión La Calera
League minnow Palestino continues to defy the odds and sits unbeaten at the top of the Clausura after a home win over Unión La Calera on Saturday.
The breakthrough came on the hour mark, when Palestino keeper Felipe Núñez released Robert Flores on a counter attack. Flores was allowed to run almost the length of the field before teeing up striker Diego Cháves who fired home.La Serena 2-1 Huachipato
La Serena responded well to its 5-2 clubbing at the hands of Universidad de Chile by claiming a home win over Huachipato on Saturday.
Striker Federico Falcone put La Serena on top with a headed ball in the first half, and midfielder Matías Córdoba won a scramble in the technical area to make it 2-0. Huachipato striker Braian Rodríguez fired home between the legs of keeper Rainer Wirth with five minutes to play, but it proved too little too late.Cobreloa 1-2 Audax Italiano
Cobreloa was the latest victim of Sebastián Sáez’s goal glut as the striker topped the Clausura goalscorer rankings with a brace for Audax Italiano on Saturday.
Good movement and drive were key to Sáez’s opener in the 17th minute, and a cute cutback in the box put shine on his second ten minutes later. Cobreloa striker Cristián Canío pulled one back for his team before the break, though Italiano shut up shop in the second half to clinch the win.Unión San Felipe 0-1 Universidad Católica
Soccer’s ever changing fortunes are smiling on Católica. The team registered its first back-to-back win for more than three months with a victory over San Felipe on Saturday.
A first clean sheet in six matches will also be a welcome edition. San Felipe’s failure to convert meant midfielder Michael Ríos’ first half header gave Católica the points.Concepción 0-2 Deportes Antofagasta
A Daniel Arizmendi double gave Antofagasta its first win of the Clausura, away to Concepción.
The striker produced an accomplished lob to beat onrushing keeper Cristian Brítez in the eighth minute, and netted again 20 minutes later to finish the scoring.Upcoming matches:
Friday 27/07, 8 p.m. - Rangers vs Iquique
Saturday 28/07, 12:30 p.m. - Deportes Antofagasta vs. Universidad Católica
Saturday 28/07, 4 p.m. - Cobresal vs. Concepción
Saturday 28/07, 4 p.m. - Unión Española vs. Unión San Felipe
Saturday 28/07, 6:15 p.m. - Audax Italiano vs. Santiago Wanderers
Saturday 28/07, 6:15 p.m. - Huachipato vs. Cobreloa
Sunday 29/07, 4 p.m. - Unión La Calera vs. Colo Colo
Sunday 29/07, 6:30 p.m. - O’Higgins vs. La Serena
Wednesday 08/08, 7:30 p.m. - Universidad de Chile vs. Palestino
By Angus McNeice (email@example.com)
Copyright 2012 - The Santiago Times