Gazale celebrates winner (image: laprensalatina.com)
Like Universidad de Chile the previous evening Universidad Católica left it late to clinch all three points against Chilean rivals Unión Española in what was a crucial win in their attempts at progression from Group 3 of the Copa Libertadores.
Substitute Daúd Gazale picked the perfect moment to score his first goal of the year, just when it looked like Española had done enough to secure a point that would have left Cató with an arduous task to recover in the last two group games.
The first half was a tepid affair played at a slow tempo; brightened temporarily by Roberto Ovelar’s 8th minute opener.
Felipe Gutiérrez picked up possession in acres of space in an inside left position half-way inside the away side’s half. Rather than driving into space he clipped a delicious ball across the box which was met by an even better diving header by Ovelar, steaming in between Fernando Cordero and Ampuero.
Tenacious Medel (Image: citifmonline.com)
With the ‘Chile Five’ suspended and Mauricio Isla out injured for the rest of the season a relatively unfamiliar La Roja XI came from behind to draw 1-1 with a strong Ghana side in Philadelphia.
With six Universidad de Chile players selected there was a degree of understanding in the squad in terms of partnerships and style of play. Four La U players found starting berths as Osvaldo González and Jose Rojas lined up beside a former comrade in Marcos González in defence; changed days from the usual trio of Waldo Ponce, Gonzalo Jara and Pablo Contreras. Matías Fernandez played ahead of an in-form midfield duo of Marcelo Díaz and Gary Medel. Matías Campos Toro and Charles Aránguiz were stationed on the wing. There was no place for Napoli’s Eduardo Vargas as Humberto Suazo partnered Alexis Sánchez in attack.
The Black Stars went ahead four minutes before the break through first-half substitute Richard Mpong, sending the sodden Ghanaian fans into raptures; warming themselves up in the process if anything else. Sulley Muntari shrugged off the attentions of Gary Medel to give himself enough time to locate the run of Mpong with perfectly executed whipped pass around the backline on the wet surface. All Mpong had to do was run onto the ball and slide it past Claudio Bravo first time.