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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading