Plenty of drama as the playoffs kick off

There wasn’t a dull moment to be had as the playoffs for the Apertura season kicked off mid-week with three of the ties delicately poised going into the second legs on the weekend.

In the first match of the playoffs, Universidad de Chile got the result they wanted in their first leg quarter final clash against Unión San Felipe winning 2-1 away from home. Second half goals from Gustavo Canales and Albert Acevedo cancelled out the first half goal from the Apertura season’s leading scorer Matías Urbano. With away goals counting for nothing if the tie is all square come the end of the ninety minutes at the Estadio Nacional on Saturday, it will come down to who is higher on the table, so the advantage is definitely with La “U”.

In the second match on Wednesday night a last minute equaliser from Luis Oyarzún saw Palestino grab a crucial 1-1 draw away to O’Higgins inRancagua. The home side had taken the lead in the 33rd minute after Rodrigo Riquelme put the ball into his own net but could be left ruing the late goal come the return leg inLa Cisternaon Saturday.

Universidad Católica grabbed the headlines on the second day of the quarter final playoffs as they came from two goals down against Colo Colo in the Estadio Monumental to win 4-2 and take a huge advantage going into the second leg. Things looked bad for the team that finished the regular season on top of the table after two goals to Esteban Paredes put the home side 2-0 up inside the first fifteen minutes and were being thoroughly outplayed. A penalty to captain Milovan Mirosevic gave los cruzados some hope before the break. Felipe Gutiérrez brought the match back on level terms in the 61st minute not long after coming on as a substitute. The match and tie then turned on its head two minutes latest as Lucas Wilchez picked up his second yellow card. It took a while for Católica to make their man advantage count but when it did come it was devastating for los albos as Lucas Pratto scored two goals in the dying moments to complete a momentous comeback. Colo Colo will now need to win by three goals to progress to the next stage of the playoffs.

Earlier in the day, Unión La Calera created its own bit of history as they defeated Unión Española 1-0 in their first ever Primera A playoff match via a Ángel Carreño goal. It came as a bit of a shock as Unión Española were strong favourites going into the match and will need to win the home leg at Estadio Santa Laura to progress to the semi-finals.

Primera División Campeonato de Apertura 2011, quarter finals (first leg)

U. San Felipe 1-2 U. de Chile (M. Urbano (USF) 26′, G. Canales (UdC) 48′, A. Acevedo(UdC) 58′)
O’Higgins 1-1 Palestino (R. Riquelme (PA) (og) 33′, L. Oyarzún (PA) 92′)
U. La Calera 1-0 U. Española (Á. Carreño (ULC) 68′)
Colo Colo 2-4 U. Católica (E. Paredes (CC) 5′ & 13′, M. Mirosevic (UC) 34′, F. Gutiérrez (UC) 61′, L. Pratto (UC) 88′ & 90′)
Photo taken from anfp.cl
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