Just when it looked like Primera B side Magallanes would shock one of Chilean football’s biggest side’s in the second leg of the Copa Chile final, Daúd Gazale fired home to rescue Universidad Católica, taking the match to a penalty shoot-out which was one by Católica 4-2.
Magallanes had won the first leg at UC’s Estadio San Carlos through a late Paulo Cárdenas goal and held their own against their more illustrious opponents over 180 minutes.
However in the return leg – played at Unión Española’s Estadio Santa Laura because Magallanes home ground is too small – Cató returned the favour, Fernando Meneses floating ball to meet the run of Gazale who expertly brought the ball down with his chest and fired into the far corner two minutes from time.
Magallanes really should have taken the lead early in the first half when Patricio Salas failed to convert a low cross from Felipe Reynero, sliding in at the back post with the goal at his mercy; a chance his namesake would have finished in his sleep.
Roberto Gutiérrez came closest for UC, rattling the bar with a rasping a right-footed effort ten minutes before half-time.
It looked as if Magallanes would hold on; defending solidly after Juan Cornejo had been sent-off five minutes after the half-time break only for Gazale to save Los Cruzados, sending the tie to the lottery of penalties.
Despite an uncharacteristic miss from captain Milovan Mirosevic with the first spot-kick UC would prevail winners, Roberto Cereceda going to the Antonín Panenka journal of penalty taking, dinking his straight down the middle to confirm Universidad Católica as winners of the 2011 Copa Chile.
The victors paid tribute to Magallanes for putting up spirited opposition, taking the game all the way to penalties. The scorer of the winning penalty, Cereceda, felt the win mattered even more because of how hard the game was.
The cup win means Católica will take part in next years Copa Sudamericana, hoping to better this year’s effort of reaching the last-16 where they fell to Argentines Vélez Sarsfield.
Meanwhile Magallanes will re-focus their energies on retaining their Primera B status.