Both Unión Española and Colo Colo grabbed slender advantages in their respective semi-finals although the manner in which their wins was achieved were in stark contrast.
Unión Española grabbed a slender advantage in their semi-final tie against O’Higgins with an Emiliano Vecchio goal in the 36th minute proving to be the difference between the two sides. Chances were few and far between in the opening half with O’Higgins’ Juan Rodrigo Rojas flashing a shot just wide in the 7th minute with Sebastian Jaime having a header cleared off the line for the home side before Vecchio opened the scoring. Unión Española had the better of the second half with Emanuel Herrera having the best chance to double the advantage but Luis Marín palmed away his curling shot. The return leg will be played next weekend in Rangcagua with O’Higgins only needing to win by one goal to progress to the final.
The weekend’s second match was played behind closed doors as Colo Colo hosted Universidad de Chile in the superclásico and it was the home side who ran out 2-0 winners despite finishing the match with only nine men. It was Esteban Paredes, who will leave the club at the end of the season, who opened the scoring with a screamer from at least thirty metres out in the 14th minute. It was a shot so well hit that it left Jhonny Herrera with little chance of stopping it. Los albos were then reduced ten men in the 36th minute after Álvaro Ormeño picked up two yellow cards in rapid succession, although he looked a little unfortunate to pick up the second one as a stray arm in aerial contest brought about blood nose for Roberto Cereceda. Early in the second half Bryan Rabello had a debut to remember as he doubled Colo Colo’s advantage in the 46th minute. Fourteen minutes later they were reduced to ten men as goalscorer Paredes, was given a straight red card for a poor challenge on Charles Aránguiz. Despite having a two man advantage La U could not find a way back into the game with Ángelo Henríquez having their best opportunity in the 88th minute. The return leg will be played next Sunday in the Estadio Nacional with Universidad de Chile needing to win by two goals to advance to their third successive final.
Primera Division Campeonato de Apertura 2012, semi finals, first leg
U. Española 1-0 O’Higgins (E. Vecchio (UE) 36’)
Colo Colo 2-0 U. de Chile (E. Paredes (CC) 14’, B. Rabello (CC) 46’)
Unión Española 1-0 O’Higgins
Colo Colo 2-0 Universidad de Chile