Monday, 28 May 2012 20:37
Colo Colo advances, Universidad de Chile registers strong win in Apertura quarterfinals.
Unión Española, O’Higgins and Colo Colo all advance to semifinals, with La U odds-on to join them.Iquique 1-2 Colo Colo
Colo Colo will advance to the Apertura semifinals after an enthralling 2-1 away win at Iquique.
La U midfielder Matías Rodríguez scored with a stunning overhead kick against Cobreloa. Photo courtesy of Universidad de Chile/Facebook.
Los Albos were first on the score sheet after striker Carlos Muñoz did well to control an arching cross from deep in midfield and flick the ball into the Iquique net with his second touch.
Celebrations had barely ended when Iquique striker Víctor Sarabia went on a mazy 30-yard run through four Colo Colo players, capping off a spectacular individual goal with a confident finish.
Colo Colo forward Matías Olivi, who scored the last gasp equalizer in the last leg
, was on hand for more heroics, pulling the trigger from 25 yards to retake the lead.
The second half was a nail-biter as Iquique poured men forward in search of an equalizer. Colo Colo keeper Renny Vega kept his team in the lead with three deft saves, and Iquique forward Jaime Grondona will lament blazing a shot over the bar from twelve yards out when it looked easier to score.
“We are very happy,” Colo Colo manager Luis Pérez said after the match
. “Many people did not expect us to be in this position, for example bad fans.”
Colo Colo defender Luis Mena will miss the semifinal after picking up a second yellow for a rash challenge.Cobreloa 0-2 Universidad de Chile
Universidad de Chile looks certain to advance to the Apertura semifinal playoffs after an emphatic 2-0 first leg away win at Cobreloa.
Cobreloa never looked like a threat, and La U winger Charles Aránguiz opened the scoring in the eighth minute after firing home a deflected cross from forward Junior Fernández.
After denying what looked like two clear penalties at both ends, the referee finally awarded a spot kick after La U defender Osvaldo González was found guilty of shirt-pulling in the box.
Goalkeeper Johnny Herrera spared González’s blushes by saving the spot kick with a trailing leg. This was Herrera’s second crucial penalty save in his last two matches, after his game-winning block in Thursday’s shootout against Paraguay’s Libertad
in the Copa Libertadores tournament.
La U midfielder Matías Rodríguez doubled the lead close to the hour mark with a sensational goal. Another deflected Fernández cross bounced behind the sprinting Rodríguez, who swiveled on a dime and volleyed home an overhead kick.
“It was the only way I could hit it and luckily I pulled it off,” Rodríguez said of his wonder-goal
Cobreloa needs to beat La U by a three-goal margin in the return leg to advance. Barring that unlikely result, a semifinal “Classico” against rivals Colo Colo could prove a heated affair.Universidad Católica 1-1 Unión Española
Unión Española will advance to the Apertura semifinal playoffs to meet O’Higgins after drawing 1-1 away to now-eliminated Universidad Católica.
High tension and a wet pitch led to a cantankerous affair that saw three Católica players sent off.
Carrying a three-goal deficit from the first leg, a goal from striker Matias Campos in the second half did little to raise Católica’s spirits, and as expected the team was eventually overrun.
Católica keeper Christopher Toselli did well to keep the visitors at bay for so long, but could do nothing as Española midfielder Emilliano Vecchio weaved through a panicking Católica defense to fire home across the face of goal.O’Higgins 3-2 Unión La Calera
O’Higgins striker Enzo Gutiérrez scored an impressive hat-trick to send his team through to the Apertura semifinal playoffs at the expense of Unión La Calera.
A clutch of improbable goals thrilled the crowd in a game that never really threatened O’Higgins’ chances of advancing after their 1-0 away win in the first leg.
O’Higgins striker Ramón Fernández set the tone early when his remarkable effort was denied by the woodwork, though teammate Gutiérrez was on target with his strike from range on 51 minutes.
Four goals followed in the following forty minutes. Gutiérrez claimed his hat-trick with two equally acrobatic volleys, and La Calera midfielder Leonardo Valencia’s long range strike and defender Francisco Bahamondes’ low drive proved too little too late.
By Angus McNeice (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Copyright 2012- The Santiago Times