Chile v Argentina Build-up – La Roja’s missing XI

La Seleccion‘The Red One’ has teamed up with Chile’s premier English language media group ‘I Love Chile‘ to provide even more news and comment on Chilean football.

After terrible performances against Ecuador and Colombia, Claudio Borghi is under pressure to keep his job. He is not helped by the fact he joins a full team on the sidelines for the match as Daniel Boyle finds out.

Following the 3-1 loss against Ecuador, Chile need a win to keep their World Cup qualifying campaign on track. Pressure is building on coach Claudio Borghi, who remains suspended after a verbal spray against officials in Venezuela.

Joining him on the sidelines is a full team worth of players, out through either injury or suspensions, including captain Claudio Bravo and vice-captain Humberto Suazo. I Love Chile has named a lineup that won’t be taking the field against Messi and friends.

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Libertad 1-1 Universidad de Chile – Paraguayans exploit La U’s weaknesses but the Chileans fightback to record fine result

Universidad de Chile returned from their latest Copa Libertadores trip in much better fettle than they did from their last trip where they fell 4-1 to Deportivo Quito in Ecuador, before winning the second-leg 6-0.

However the opening period did not go to plan as Libertad, time and again, got in begin Los Azules’ defence; Osvaldo González in particular struggled to adapt to the pressure put on him and the space around him. The opening goal from Paraguayan international Victor Cáceres came from the space down La U’s right flank.

The home side’s pace and pressing led to a number of counter-attacks. But La U survived and gradually imposed themselves; Ángelo Henríquez coming closest to forcing an equaliser before half-time.

The Chileans influence grew in the second half and they equalised through Gustavo Lorenzetti’s deflected strike before the game slowed down and settled into a stop-start contest. Universidad de Chile’s substitute Emilio Hernández was sent off towards the end.

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Universidad de Chile 2-1 Atlético Nacional – La U top group to set up last-16 tie with Deportivo Quito

Matigol!

Universidad de Chile made it nine straight wins to top Copa Libertadores Group 8 and set-up a last-16 tie with Depotivo Quito by taking revenge from their opening group game defeat; El Chuncho recorded a 2-1 victory over Colombian’s Atlético Nacional.

There were rare starts for 18-year-old Sebastián Martínez and Emilio Hernández but Jorge Sampaoli resisted the urge to make wholesale changes knowing a win would see Los Azules top the group and take their place as a seeded team in the draw.

It only took ten minutes for the first goal to be registered between two of the most impressive sides in the Libertadores so far. And it came from a source that some readers may now be (more) familiar with.

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Clausura Play-off Semi-final Second-legs: La U lose their unbeaten run but do enough to face Cobreloa – who left it late to qualify – in the final

Vargas sees red but La U reach the final (IMG:ANFP)

Cobreloa 1-2 Colo Colo (Agg 4-4)

Attacking and defending. The good teams can do one. The great teams can do both. This present Colo Colo side fall into the former. A valiant effort in a fascinating and high-paced encounter was not enough to edge past a Cobreloa side coached by the gregarious ex-Chile manager Nelson Acosta.

Colo Colo had to win by two clear goals due to Cobreloa’s higher placed finish in the league and wasted no time racing into a two goal lead. But eventually defensive failings would re-surface even as Cobreloa went down to ten men.

Los Albos got off to a great start after 15 minutes when Esteban Paredes brought down a long ball played out of defence while turning Cobreloa defender Cristian Suárez all in one movement before slipping in Muñoz in his second movement. The striker hit into the ground and across goalkeeper Nicolás Peric, setting up a wonderful evening of football.

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Vasco da Gama 1-1 Universidad de Chile: Jorge Sampaoli forced into an early tactical change as Osvaldo González’s late header hands advantage to Los Azules.

Without a defeat in 28 games Universidad de Chile’s visit to Brazilians Vasco da Gama, who sit 2nd in the Brazilian Serie A, was arguably the toughest test this talent-laden La U side has come up against.

From early on it was clear that this was not going to be a stroll in the park, akin to the last time they played Brazil, defeating Flamengo 4-0. Vasco, in front of a partisan home crowd, started positively and deservedly went in front. With one first half substitution however Jorge Sampaoli was able to wing the game back in his teams favour as La U went on to control most of the game; themselves deservedly equalising late on.

Having made nine changes to the side at the weekend Sampaoli fielded the same side, in an unbalanced 3-4-3, which put three past Arsenal dí Sarandi without reply the week previous. Gustavo Canales continued up front with support from Francisco Castro and Eduardo Vargas.

Vasco lined up 4-3-3, Bernardo dropping wide left to torment Osvaldo Gonzalez while Allan and Fágner combined on the right. Ex-Lyon talisman Juninho Pernambucano took up a marauding central position.

The home side set their stall out from the beginning, happy to commit men forward; both full-backs showed no hesitation in supporting play. Although that would not last as right-footed left-back Jumar played a more conservative role, wary of the threat of Eduardo Vargas. A possible ploy from Vasco coach Cristóvão Borges playing a right-footer at the left to combat Vargas’ inside runs from a wide position.

On the other side however Fágner was forthright in his attacking surges, often popping up in and around the final third. It was a fine battle throughout the game between the right-back, linking with the explosive Allan – comfortable going on the outside or coming into central areas – and La U’s left-sided duo Eugenio Mena and Jose Rojas.

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