Universidad de Chile confirmed their place in the quarter-finals of the Copa Sudamericana with a single goal victory at home to Flamengo through long range rocket from Marcelo Diaz; triumphing 5-0 on aggregate.
The seriousness at which each team were taking the game was shown in the two line-ups. La U made only the one change from the emphatic first-leg win in Brazil, promising forward Felipe Gallegos replacing Francisco Castro. Vanderlei Luxemburgo meanwhile made wholesale changes, nine of the team that started the first leg were absent from the starting line-up. Ronaldinho was amongst those left behind in Brazil, Luxemburgo only bringing a squad of 15.
The vociferous home crowd at Santiago’s National Stadium were rewarded after 20 minutes as Diaz ran onto a loose ball outside the box, unleashing a left-footed effort with optimum slice into the top corner. Tie over.
It was another goal-fuelled weekend in the Chilean Primera División as the league takes a resemblance of shape, entering the home straight before the end of season play-offs. With Universidad de Chile all but secured of first position it was the three teams directly below them, Colo Colo, Audax Italiano and Cobreloa, who had a fine weekend, all but sealing their spots in the Clausura play-offs – mathematics dictate that either of the teams could fall out of the places with a disastrous finish.
In the lower echelons of the play-offs Unión La Calera and Unión Española traded positions with Cobresal and Ñublense while Universidad Católica hung on to their place with a spirited and unexpected comeback against Cobresal.
There was little change at the bottom of the general table which decides relegation, the bottom six all failing to win.
The shape of the Clausura continues to alter – with the exception of the top spot which Universidad de Chile have all but sewn up – after another tumultuous and enthralling weekend in the Chilean Primera Division.
There were 27 goals scored in the nine games which kicked off on Thursday (01:00 GMT) due to La U’s impending involvement in the Copa Sudamericana. They travel to Brazil to face Ronaldinho’s Flamengo in good spirits having secured their place in the play-offs defeating Union La Calera late on to end their run of draws and increase their lead at the top to 10 points. La Calera, like Unión Española who were beaten 2-1 by Huachipato, fell out the play-offs to be replaced by Universidad Católica (more about them soon) and Ñublense while Deportes La Serena, Audax Italiano and Cobreloa all strengthened their positions in the play-offs with wins. Palestino moved off the bottom of the Clausura table with a 3-1 win victory in Iquique and Santiago Morning hit bottom of the general table with a 1-1 draw at home to Unión San Felipe.
It was a round of upsets this weekend in the Primera Division with Catolica and Colo Colo both losing while Universidad de Chile dropped further points at home to Deportes Iquique in a 2-2 draw. Catolica are now out of the play-offs as their horrid run continues.
Ñublense secured a crucial 3 points against fellow relegation strugglers Santiago Morning while there were changes in the play-off slots.
After a midweek round of matches in the Primera División only six points separates Cobreloa in 5th place and bottom of the league Palestino. While six points separates Universidad de Chile at the top of the table and Colo Colo in second place.
Universidad Católica continued their slump even though they are still in the play-offs as Colo Colo closed the gap on the unbeaten La U whose winning streak was ended away to Santiago Wanderers.
Week nine of the Chilean Clausura provided an average of three goals a game over the weekend as Universidad de Chile continued their dominance at the top of the league creating histroy by becoming the first side in Chilean domestic football to win nine consecutive matches. There was also big news at the bottom as Santiago Morning upset the odds with a 3-2 defeat of Universidad de Catolica to rise from bottom of the 18 team league to 13th in one fell swoop.
La U ran out comfortable winners in the last game of the weekend, defeating O’Higgins 3-0 at the Estadio Nacional Julio Martinez Prádanos. You can read about the match report from the history making match here.
Santiago Morning must have feared the worst when Matias Mier put Catolica ahead after eight minutes but the home side responded in emphatic fashion by not only drawing level, but taking the lead before half-time. Catolica levelled but immediately lost scorer of the first goal Mier who turned villain collecting his second booking of the encounter. Morning won in dramatic fashion with a penalty, converted by Ever Cantero, three minutes from time.