The two teams that finished the regular season on top of the table have both progressed to the Apertura final as both O’Higgins and Universidad de Chile overturned their first leg deficits to progress. For O’Higgins it is their first appearance in a final in their 57 year history whilst for their opponents it is their third consecutive domestic final.
Needing only to draw their tie against Unión Española, O’Higgins got off to the start they wanted as Luis Pedro Figueroa tapped home a Boris Sagredo cross to open the scoring in the thirteenth minute. Both teams had their chances to find the back of the net in the remainder of the half but the score remained 1-0 at the break.
Early in the second half los hispanos put themselves ahead on aggregate as Sebastián Jaime got on the end of a Rodolfo Madrid long ball to calmly finish past Luis Marín in the 53rd minute. However their joy was short lived as Juan Rodrigo Rojas headed home what was to be the winner six minutes later to allow O’Higgins to progress to their first ever final and a chance to make history.
After going four and a half hours without a goal, Universidad de Chile reverted to what they are best known for in the second semi-final of the weekend – all out attack as Junior Fernándes scored a hat trick in a 4-0 victory over Colo Colo after Ángelo Henriquez opened the scoring. A win that saw them progress to the final 4-2 on aggregate.
The defending champions of both the Apertura and Clausura tournaments will go on to face O’Higgins in the final. Colo Colo, who were missing captain Esteban Paredes due to suspension, failed to find the mark despite regularly pressuring the Universidad de Chile defence.
Manager Jorge Sampaoli said after the match, “This is an La U to remember. I don’t think we’re a step above, but we have a huge commitment to the club and conviction within the team. After the painful elimination from the Copa Libertadores, a strong win over our rivals, this alone can make the La U.”
Primera Division Campeonato de Apertura 2012, semi finals, second leg
O’Higgins 2-1 U. Española (L.P. Figueroa (OHI) 13’, S. Jaime (UE) 50’, J.R. Rojas (OHI) 59’)
U. de Chile 4-0 Colo Colo (Á. Henríquez (UCH) 7’, J. Fernándes (UCH) 20’, 84′ & 90′)
Universidad de Chile 4-0 Colo Colo
Part of this text was provided by Daniel Boyle of I Love Chile.