Universidad Católica failed to make it a clean sweep for Chilean sides in the Copa Libertadores this week, throwing away a two goal lead at home to Colombian’s Junior de Barranquilla.
Having seen Unión Española and Universidad de Chile chalk up excellent wins – against Bolívar and Godoy Cruz respectively – UC had the chance to make it a treble of wins which would have taken them on to four points and comfortbaly behind Española in Group 3. Despite an excellent start Cató faltered in the second half and could only claim a 2-2 in the end.
With an abundance of attacking quality in tow UC took the lead in the 19th minute. A low free-kick out on the left from Nicolás Trecco caused panic in the away defence and as the ball bobbled around Roberto Gutiérrez was quickest to react finishing from seven yards.
Eight minutes later and Católica had raced into a two goal lead. Play was broken up on the half-way line and the advanced Matías Campos Toro played a ball through to the on-running Gutiérrez and the little number ten rounded Sebastián Viera and scored from an acute angle.
Things would start to unravel shortly after the break however. A long throw from the right was flicked by Luis Ruiz to Vladimir Hernández who made enough space for himself to sweep a volley at Cristopher Toselli. Inexplicably the goalkeeper, normally highly reliable, let the shot through his hands and into the net.
Just after the hour mark Junior were level. Luis Narváez had ample time to spot the run from Héctor Quiñónes off the left flank and the left-back controlled before nonchalantly flicking a shot over Toselli and into the far corner.
The draw takes Cató onto two points in second place, four behind Unión Española who they face this weekend in the league before a March double header in the Copa Libertadores. Worryingly for UC, the two points they have collected have come at home with tricky trips to Bolivia and Colombia still to come.