Unión Española, O’Higgins and Colo Colo have all progressed to the semi-finals of the 2012 Apertura season whilst Universidad de Chile has one foot in the door after defeating Cobreloa 2-0 in the opening match of their quarter final match up.
Unión Española became the first team to qualify for the semi-finals of the Apertura after their match with Universidad Católica finished 1-1 meaning that los hispanos progressed 4-1 on aggregate. It was night to forget in a season to forget for los cruzados as they finished with eight men after firstly Michael Ríos saw red for a foul on Rodolfo Madrid in only the 21st minute which was followed by the sending offs of Francisco Silva and Hans Martínez in the 79th and 81st minutes resepectively. Amongst the red cards Universidad Católica did manage to open the scoring in the 64th minute courtesy of Matías Campos Toro before Unión Española effectively killed off the game in the 85th minute via Emiliano Vecchio when their opponents were down to eight men.
In the weekend’s second match Colo Colo became the second team into the semi-finals after they defeated Iquique 2-1 in the Estadio Tierra de Campeones to take their quarter-final 5-4 on aggregate. Needing to win to progress los albos got off to the start they wanted as Carlos Muñoz opened the scoring in the tenth as he neatly chipped an onrushing Rodrigo Naranjo after getting on the end of defense splitting past from Mauro Olivi. That lead was short lived as Víctor Hugo Sarabia equalised two minutes later as he waltzed through a non-existent Colo Colo defence and fire past Renny Vega. In the 36th minute the aforementioned Mauro Olivi, who scored the last minute equaliser in the first leg, scored the third and last goal of the game with a long range strike. In the second half Iquique had numerous chances to draw level but just couldn’t find that killer blow that was required.
Due to their Copa Libertadores commitments Universidad de Chile travelled north on Sunday afternoon to take on Cobreloa in what was a re-match of the 2011 Clausura final. In the eighth minute the defending Apertura champions took the lead in the eighth minute courtesy of Charles Aránguiz as he got on the end of Junior Fernandes cross, taking advantage of some poor Cobreloa defending in the process. Cobreloa had a chance to get back on level terms in the 26th minute from the penalty spot but Jhonny Herrera repeated his Copa Libertadores heroics to deny José Luis Díaz. La U doubled their lead in the 58th minute as again Fernandes turned provider, this time cross caught a deflection off a Cobreloa defender before Matías Rodríguez pulled off a spectacular chilena. The return leg will be played on the 11th June.
O’Higgins put paid to any thoughts that Unión La Calera might have had about progressing to the semi-finals by triumphing 3-2 in front of their home fans in Rancagua. Chief protagonist for the home side was Enzo Gutiérez who scored a hat-trick in a frenetic second half that saw of all the games five goals being scored. The aforementioned Gutiérez opened the scoring in the 52nd minute with a strike from the edge of the area. O’Higgins lead was short lived as only minute later La Calera equalised via spectacular strike from Leonardo Valencia that gave O’Higgins goalkeeper Luis Marín no chance. To cap off the goal frenzy in the opening minutes of the second half, Gutiérez again got on the scoresheet two minutes later as he volleyed home two minutes after Valencia’s equaliser. He then completed his hat-trick in the 83rd minute before Francisco Bahamondes grabbed a late consolation goal for the visitors in the 89th minute.
Primera Division Campeonato de Apertura 2012, quarter finals, first leg
Cobreloa 0-2 U. de Chile (C. Aránguiz (UCH) 8’, M. Rodríguez (UCH) 58’)
Primera Division Campeonato de Apertura 2012, quarter finals, second leg
Iquique 1-2 Colo Colo (C. Muñoz (CC) 10’, V.H. Sarabia (IQQ) 12’, M. Olivi (CC) 36’)
U. Católica 1-1 U. Española(M. Campos Toro (UC) 64′, E. Vecchio (UE) 85′)
O’Higgins 3-2 U. La Calera (E. Gutiérez (OHI) 52′, 55′ & 83′, L. Valencia (ULC) 53′, F. Bahamondes (ULC) 89′)
Cobreloa 0-2 Universidad de Chile
Iquique 1-2 Colo Colo