Universidad Católica 1-1 São Paulo – Lasarte second half changes keep UC in the tie

This time last year everyone knew who Universidad de Chile were, even those who did not follow South American football. 12 months on and Universidad Católica are 90 minutes, and one fine performance, away from reaching the Copa Sudamericana final. But, unlike their Santiago rivals, they have done so under the radar.

São Paulo are all that stand in the way of Católica making the final, with all to play for after a 1-1 draw in the semi-final first-leg.

Continue reading

Week 17 Round-up – Late comebacks, surprise results and a kung-fu kick as the regular season came to an end

Uni-Uni take the plunge (img: unionsanfelipe.com)

Seasons were saved and jobs hung in the balance as the final week of the Clausura reached its conclusion before the play-offs commence. For eight teams the chance of glory continues; for two a chance of redemption; for the bottom two, Primera B hell.

To highlight the competitiveness of the short tournaments in Chile the majority of the clubs had something to play for; everything from play-off placing to relegation survival. And due to the rearranged Universidad de Chile-Universidad de Concepción the tension was creaked up another notch as five games took place at the weekend and a further five on Wednesday. If Sky was broadcasting the last five games it would have been ‘Wild Wednesday’ or some other nonsense.

Continue reading

Universidad Católica 2-1 Independiente (Agg 4-3) – UC continue to improve with a simple but effective system

Rios sends UC skyward

Universidad Católica reached the semi-final stage of the Copa Sudamericana for the first time in seven years with a thoroughly deserved two-legged victory over the ‘King of Cups’ Independiente; a result that may just trigger a steep upturn in the fortunes of Los Cruzados.

Only two weeks ago Martín Lasarte was receiving criticism from his own fans as UC hang perilously close to dropping out of the play-off spots in the Clausura. However salvation has come in the Sudamericana, and with each positive result in the competition the more they are looking a settled and confident outfit.

Continue reading

Copa Sudamericana Catch-up – La U and UC find themselves in very different situations

La U and UC look to set up a Clasico Universitario semi-final

The Copa Sudamericana quarter-final second-leg’s kick-off tonight as Universidad de Chile travel to Brazil in an attempt to overturn a 2-0 first-leg loss to Sao Paulo. So what exactly happened in the first-leg’s? Better late than never, I will quickly run through some of the taking points with the addition of highlights of each match and a brief preview on this week’s games.

Continue reading

Chile duo reach the quarter-finals of the Copa Sudamericana

Santiago is the only city in South America with two representatives in the quarter-finals of the Copa Sudamericana after Universidad Católica and Universidad de Chile both came through tight two-legged affairs.

Both teams’ progression means that there is still the possibility of the clubs meeting in the semi-final. But before then they need to come through tough ties against illustrious clubs from Argentina and Brazil.

UC and La U went into their games on the back of disappointments in the league; UC were beaten 2-0 at home to Huachipato while Los Azules lost el superclásico to arch-rivals Colo Colo.

Continue reading

Deportes Iquique and Universidad Católica continue Chile’s good start in the Copa Sudamericana

Ereros and Diaz celebrate the former’s opener against Nacional (img: copa-sudamericana.info)

The 2012 Copa Sudamericana has started well for the Chilean clubs with a record of four games unbeaten.

Last week saw Cobreloa and O’Higgins record a win and draw respectively and this week it was the turn of Deportes Iquique and Universidad Católica; the duo followed suit with a win and a draw.

Iquique received arguably the toughest draws of the four Chilean clubs, paired with Nacional but Fernando Vergara’s side put in Chile’s finest performance with a comfortable 2-0 victory; giving the side a solid lead as they head into the second-leg.

Católica had to make the toughest trip, to Bolivia. Cato are still to find their feet under new boss Martín Lasarte, displaying their quality in sporadic bursts so far. In terms of performance they disappointed against Blooming but can be satisfied taking a 1-1 draw back to the Estadio San Carlos.

Deportes Iquique 2-0 Nacional

Iquique kicked things of on Tuesday as they welcomed Uruguayan giants Nacional to the Tierra de Campeones stadium. Despite a nervy start against the three-time Copa Libertadores champions Los Dragones Celestes emerged as the stronger side as the game progressed, going ahead through Sebastián Ereros. Enganche Rodrigo Díaz was in fine form and Iquique could have been further in front before the half-time whistle.

On the previous Friday evening Iquique conceded five to Rangers, but were defensively sound, keeping the experienced talents and his wand of a left-foot quite throughout the match.

A second goal was added was through a well-taken volley from Misael Dávila to give the Chileans a commanding position going into the second-leg in Uruguay.

Blooming 1-1 Universidad Católica

Católica made their way to Bolivia to take on Club Blooming in Santa Cruz. Cato were coming into the game on the back of a 2-2 draw in Antofagasta where they were left frustrated by the concession of a late equaliser.

It appeared they were still suffering from the disappointment of the weekend’s result as they started slowly with the first-half a non-event.

It was no surprise that the opening goal scored by Álvaro Ramos came only minutes after the arrival of Michael Ríos onto the field of play. Ríos has been Los Cruzados’ most influential out field player since the Clausura begun and provided the assist for Ramos.

However Cato’s defensive problems resurfaced as Blooming equalised only a minute later, and for once this season the excellent Cristopher Toselli has to take a large proportion of the blame. The ‘keeper, so impressive of late, came for a cross but showed little conviction as Limbert Méndez was first to the corner and headed into the vacant net.

Despite their inability to hold onto the lead Católica and manager Lasarte will be content with the result, knowing that they are favourites to prevail over the two-legs.

Clausura 2012 Week 3 – Cobresal make history, Española produce a fine performance and Católica scrape three points

Espanola celebrate Diego Scotti’s Golazo! (img: Lanacion)

On this week’s round-up three games are featured with entertainment, golazos, comical defending and some fine goalkeeping on show.

Cobresal created history with their surprise win at an eerie Estadio Monumental as Colo Colo continue to feel the effects of crowd trouble which reared its ugly head the previous week in Rancagua with  the death of an O’Higgins fan.

Patricio Rubio and Alvaro Ramos put in a fine performances in attack for Unión Española and Universidad Católica respectively as both Santiago sides picked up three points. Equally impressive was the performance of Cristopher Toselli on goal for Cato.

Elsewhere Universidad de Chile failed to score in Iquique while recent attacking signings continue to impress.

Continue reading