Week 6 Round-Up – O’Higgins lead the way beside La U, Colo Colo continue to misfire, the first managerial casualty and Audax finally win.

Universidad de Concepcion v O'Higgins (image: purofutbol.cl)

Universidad de Chile followed up their midweek win against Cobreloa with a 3-1 triumph against Cobresal to join O’Higgins at the summit of the Apertura. The Rancagua outfit have been going strong under new manager Eduardo Berizzo, unbeaten in four to place ahead of La U on goal difference with 13 points each.

Colo Colo continued their miserly form in front of goal escaping from Valparaíso with a point after Santiago Wanderers missed two penalties. There were wins for Santiago rivals Unión Española and Universidad Católica who consolidate their positions in the play-offs.

Audax Italiano finally broke their duck away at Deportes Iquique with a 2-1 win, leaving Cobresal as the only side yet to collect a first win of the season which cost Luis Musrri his job.

Friday night saw Mario Lepe’s Universidad Católica welcome Rangers to the Estadio San Carlos. Neither Kevin Harbottle nor Nicolás Trecco, who was dropped due to comments on his Twitter page, was in the starting eleven to liven up what was a drab affair. Matías Mier converted a first-half penalty and a second was added four minutes into the second half through 19-year-old Nicolás Castillo. The teenager expertly guided in Francisco Pizarro’s sweeping cross. Mier and Rangers’ Christian Duran were sent-off after a clash ten minutes from time. Rangers have now lost four on the bounce since opening the Apertura with a win and a draw.

There was a plethora of goals in the five Saturday matches. Unión Española began the day’s proceedings coming from behind to an early Nicolas Canales goal to defeat Palestino 3-1. Rodrigo Riquelme put through his own goal to level the scores at half-time before Emmanuel Herrera scored his 7th of the season and Mauro Díaz concluded the scoring three minutes later on the hour mark.

Audax Italiano followed suit and recovered from an early concession of a goal scored by Deportes Iquique’s Boris Rieloff. The long-haired Christian Martínez levelled the scores ten minutes from half-time with his first goal since 2010. Argentine Gabriel Rodríguez scored what proved to be the winner two minutes into the second half.

A tight first-half in Concepción between Universidad de Concepción and O’Higgins paved way for an exciting final 35 minutes. Guillermo Suárez opened the scoring for the away side but the lead barely last ten minutes as 19-year-old Jayson Mena equalised. Substitute Diego González fired the league leaders back in front and the three points were confirmed in stoppage time by fellow second half sub Rodrigo Rojas.

Universidad de Chile left it late to confirm the win over bottom-placed Cobresal who relieved coach Luis Musrri of his duties after the match. Matías Rodríguez nodded La U in front from six yards in the 24th minute. He easily lost his marker to meet Pedro Morales’ free-kick after Junior Fernándes was unceremoniously upended by Pablo Pallante. A surprise looked to be on the cards De Porras levelled with half an hour left to play. But with seven minutes remaining Roberto Cereceda snuck in at the back post to head in Fernándes’ cross. And Pablo Magalhaes secured the win five minutes later completing a hat-trick of headers.

Oscar Del Solar will be the new man in charge of Cobresal as they face Deportes Iquique looking to pick up their first win at the seventh time of asking.

Huachipato added symmetry to their start in the Apertura with a 2-1 away win against Unión San Felipe in Saturday’s late game. Goals early in the first half through a Bryan Rodríguez strike and David Fernández own goal allowed Huachipato to leapfrog their opponents in the table despite Juan Andrade’s consolation. It means Los Acereros have won two, drawn two and lost two.

Sunday evening’s two live offerings brought about the sum total of zero goals. The late game between Unión La Calera and Antofagasta saw little in the way of anything. A worrying trait is now appearing in games involving Antofagasta with a grand total of seven goals in six games.

Santiago Wanderers and Colo Colo was slightly more exciting. Both team enjoyed periods of good play but without Rodrigo Millar to get them out of trouble Los Albos lacked any sort of penetration and incisiveness. While Santiago Wanderers will be regretting the two second-half penalties squandered. The win would have taken them up into third place.

The final Sunday game between Cobreloa and Deportes La Serena, which was not shown online, inevitably produced a four goal thriller. Cobreloa looked to have got the defeat to Universidad de Chile out of their system as they went into a two goal lead in the first-half through Cristian Canio’s 5th of the season – from the penalty spot – and Felipe Flores’ 4th. The three points would have taken the Calama side onto 13 points, level with O’Higgins and La U. But a red card to Cristian Milla on the stroke of half-time gave La Serena in the impetus. And the away side wasted no time in getting back into the game, forcing Juan Abarca into an own goal minutes after the restart with Fernando De la Fuente equalising with half an hour remaining.

This week all three Copa Libertadores particpatns are in action. Unión Española play host to Universidad Católica. A win for La Furia Roja could prove decisive having won their opening two games while Cató have drawn both other theirs.

Universidad de Chile travel to Uruguay to face Montevideo giants Peñarol. The Uruguayans have played two and lost two meaning a La U win would effectively end Los Carboneros’ participation in the tournament. Jorge Sampaoli’s biggest headache is how to line up his attack.

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