This article courtesy of SouthAmericanFootball.net
The 2013/2014 Apertura in Chile began this weekend with some intriguing results to kick off proceedings. The performance of the weekend came courtesy of Antofagasta who claimed a 1-0 home victory over reigning champions, Unión Española. The title holders fell victim to an 18th minute goal from Javier Elizondo. The Argentinian striker was joint top-scorer in the league last campaign with fourteen goals, and he has certainly started this season in the same rich vein of form as Unión Española failed to get out the starting blocks.
Universidad Católica finished last season as runners-up on goal difference and their fortunes were the opposite to Unión Española as they secured a 3-0 home victory over Ñublense. José Muñoz opened his account for the season as he gave Los Cruzados the lead in only the 15th minute, as his effort beat Ñublense goalkeeper, Lucas Giovini. It was also a debut goal for Muñoz following his pre-season move from Everton. The final two goals came from players previously embedded within the squad as Alfonso Parot added a second on the stroke of half-time, then Michael Rios scored the winner in the 89th minute.
The second surprise result saw Universidad De Chile slip to a 1-0 home defeat to Rangers. The visitors left it late to secure all three points as substitute, Esteban Ciacchieri, bagged a debut goal in the 86th minute. It’s been a torrid few weeks for new Uni De Chile boss, Marco Figueroa as he saw his side recently finish bottom of their Copa Chile group with only five points from six games. The Rangers defeat was hardly the confidence boost La U required ahead of their upcoming Copa Sudamericana tie against Bolivian side, Real Potosí in midweek.
The performers of the weekend were Audax Italiano as they thumped their way to a 4-0 home victory over Colo Colo. The hosts looked as if they would face an uphill battle as Mauricio Arias received a red card in the 26th minute. Despite this, Audax Italiano managed to gain a two-goal advantage despite the one-man deficit. Bryan Carrasco scored the opener in the 49th minute before Felipe Mora added a second in the 75th. The pressure must have got the Colo Colo as they capitulated shortly afterwards with Lucas Domínguez earning himself a second yellow card in the 78th minute to even up the numbers, and he also conceded a penalty in the process. Christian Canuhé converted the resulting penalty before Carrasco rubbed salt into Colo Colo’s wounds with a fourth late on.
Last season’s third-placed side, Cobreloa began their campaign well with a 2-0 home win against newly-promoted team, Universidad Concepción. Jonathan Chávez scored the opener in the 25th minute with the tie sealed in the second half as Gaston Lezcano fired home in the 64th. O’Higgins finished in fourth last season and they made it three teams out of four from the top four to power to victory as they claimed a 1-0 victory in their visit to Deportes Iquique. Pablo Calandria added to his seven goals from last season with a second-half winner.
The opening match of the weekend saw Palestino come away with all the spoils thanks to a 2-0 away victory at Everton. Defender, Leonardo Valencia grabbed the first in the opening fourty-five minutes, then Sergio López scored the winner with a penalty in the second half. Santiago Wanderers also got off to a good start as they won 1-0 away to Huachipato, thanks to a solitary goal from Franz Schulz.
Out of the nine opening round match-ups there would be only one draw played out. Unión La Calera and last season’s whipping boys, Cobresal cancelled each other out with a 1-1 draw. What was more impressive was the fact that Cobresal still managed to claim a point despite ending the game with only eight players on the pitch. Lucas Parodi, Ever Cantero and Mariano Torres were all sent off by the 68th minute as Cobresal somehow managed to hold on for a draw until the final whistle. Before all the sending-off’s, Johan Fuentes has given Cobresal the lead in the 40th minute, before La Calera evened up matters only eight minutes later as Pablo Vergara scored the equaliser.
The opening weekend proved to be a fantastic advertisement for what is to come with surprise victories backed up by an interesting statistic from the opening weekend. Each of the eight winners from the opening round managed to hold onto a clean sheet in the process with the single draw being the only game to see goals at both end in a game.
Everton 0-2 Palestino
Huachipato 0-1 Santiago Wanderers
Unión La Calera 1-1 Cobresal
Universidad De Chile 0-1 Rangers
Antofagasta 1-0 Unión Española
Audax Italiano 4-0 Colo Colo
Deportes Iquique 0-1 O’Higgins
Cobreloa 2-0 Universidad Concepción
Universidad Católica 3-0 Ñublense
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