Week 11 Round-up: We’re Back!!!

The Red One finally returns after a six week hiatus. And what a weekend to return to!

Flores celebrates his goal

There were goals aplenty on Friday, Saturday and Sunday; two 2-2s, a 3-2 and a 4-3 as only two of the 18 teams failed to score.

Deportes Iquique made it six wins from six to lead the Clausura ahead of Rangers and Universidad de Chile – both teams recovering from two goals down to record draws late on.

The Sunday game between Cobreloa and Universidad Católica can only be described as manic with the return of horrendous defending led by Enzo Andía. Cato faces an in-form Colo Colo this weekend in the first clásico of the Clausura. Los Albos swept past Unión Española in the final game of week 11.

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Cobreloa edge past Tacuary to reach the second round of the Copa Sudamericana

Cobreloa were the first team to confirm progression to the second-round of the Copa Sudamericana with a 3-2 aggregate win over Tacaury of Paraguay. However after going into the second-leg in Calama with a 1-0 lead and then increasing their aggregate advantage to 3-0 with just over half an hour remaining the Zorros del Desierto (Desert Foxes) were made to suffer, conceding two goals within 15 minutes of going three ahead.

Despite not reaching the quality of performance the team, their coach, Javier Torrente, or the fans expect Cobreloa were in control of the match and appeared comfortable. Cristián Canío scored on the stroke of half-time and then set up Marcos Pol for Cobreloa’s second on the night but their defence imploded and in the end nervously hung on to the result, much to the annoyance of the home crowd.

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Cobreloa and O’Higgins begin their Copa Sudamericana campaign

Troncoso celebrates his winning goal

The Copa Sudamericana kicked off this week with the competition’s first phase which excludes the qualifiers from Argentina and Brazil – who enter at the second phase – and holders Universidad de Chile – who enter at the third phase as the holders.

Two Chilean teams were in action against Paraguayan opposition in the opening games with a further two playing their first game of the tournament next week.

Up first were Cobreloa and O’Higgins, emerging from their duels with Paraguay’s Tacuary and Cerro Porteño with a 4-3 aggregate win for Chile. However it will be Cobreloa feeling more satisfied with their 1-0 win in Paraguay, in comparison to La Celeste who came from behind twice to draw 3-3 at home to Cerro Porteño, one of Paraguay’s biggest clubs.

You can read Raplh Hannah’s previews and more on the games on his excellent Paraguay Football Blog.

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Week 17 Preview – Three play-off spots up for grabs in the final weekend of the regular season

Can Perez guide Colo Colo to the last-8? (image: ferplei.com)

It doesn’t feel that long ago I was penning the Apertura preview on the back of a wonderful year for Universidad de Chile and Chileans in general, at home and abroad. Sixteen match-days later and we find ourselves looking towards week 17; after which the play-offs between the top eight sides commence.

Of the eight play-off spots available five have been confirmed – Universidad de Chile, O’Higgins, Deportes Iquique, Universidad Católica and Unión Española – before the ‘regular’ season concludes. The remaining three spots are currently being occupied by Cobreloa, Huachipato and Colo Colo. However Unión La Calera, Santiago Wanderers, Universidad de Concepción and Audax Italiano can all, however unlikely, claim a place that will extend their season by at least two games.

Out of the seven teams who cling to the hope of prolonging their season some have been in and around the upper echelons of the Primera Divisón all year, others have drifted in and out of a play-off place, Concepción have crept into the fold unnoticed while a couple looked to have little chance four weeks ago.

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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.

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Week 5 Talking Points and Round-up – Audax and Palestino get all Serie A, Cobreloa’s consistency and TRO’s curse strikes again

'¿Cuánto tiempo tengo?' (Image: Mundo.d)

The tumultuous start to the Chilean Apertura continued as four teams picked up their first win of the season, Universidad de Chile suffered a heavy defeat in Rancagua, Colo Colo were booed off again and TRO keeps getting things wrong.

However a win still eludes Audax Italiano (and Cobresal) despite remaining highly watch-able. This time they were out-done by a Daniel Carreno’s Palestino who have been unlikely to have to wait until the fifth week to collect their first win. But from the game question marks still persist over the way Omar Labruna sets up his Audax side.

Elsewhere it was Cobreloa’s turn to occupy top spot after a comprehensive 3-0 success away at Rangers. Their sheer consistency has been enough to put them above everyone else, despite having played one game less.

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Week 2 Round-up: La U are off and running but it is Union Espanola who lead the way . . .

Hat-trick hero Jaime (image ANFP.cl)

Goals were more forthcoming in week 2 as Clausura finalists Universidad de Chile and Cobreloa kicked off their Apertura seasons with wins. But both are left looking upwards at Unión Española who continue their thrilling start to the season. A fine individual performance from Mauro Díaz was part of a fabulous team performance as they pummelled Cobresal.

La U struggled to break down La Serena on Saturday evening until the introduction of new boy Raúl Ruidíaz at half-time. Colo Colo also collected their first win of the season while Universidad Católica endure their poor away form which blighted their Clausura campaign.

Santiago Wanderers, Palestino, Audax Italiano and Antofagasta all got of the mark.

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