Two wins and two draws to open the playoffs

Quarter final action in the Clausura season kicked off in the last couple of days with Colo Colo and Rangers de Talcas both picking up wins whilst the honours were shared between Huachipato and Palestino and Unión Española and Universidad de Chile.

Audax Italiano and Colo Colo kicked off proceedings in the quarter-finals on Tuesday with los albos putting themselves in a strong position to progress to the semi-finals with a 2-0 victory on away soil. The two teams had only just played each other in the last round of the Clausura with Colo Colo running out comfortable 5-1 winners. It wasn’t as easy this time around with Audax Italiano dominating the early proceedings with Sebastián Sáez  having the best opportunities.

Like all good teams, Colo Colo made their move not long before the half time break and scored two goals in the space of three minutes. Firstly Mauro Olivi opened the scoring in the 39th minute before Gonzalo Fierro doubled the advantage three minutes later from the penalty spot. In the second half Felipe Flores had a chance to make it three but his effort was cleared off the line whilst for the home side Gabriel Rodrigquez had the best chance in the second half but his shot went over the crossbar. The return leg will be played on Saturday in the Estadio Monumental.

Next up saw Huachipato play host to Palestino and honours were shared after the tie finished 1-all. It was the visitors who got off to the stronger start and they opened the scoring from the penalty spot after fourteen minutes after Diego Chaves was brought down in the area by Claudio Muñoz. Chavez, who is second on the goal scoring table duly converted the spot kick.

After the goal Palestino continued to push for more goals but it was their opponents who started to create the better chances. However, it was until the 82nd minute that Huachipato got the goal their efforts deserved as a Nicolás Núñez header levelled up proceedings. The return leg will be played at the Estadio La Cisterna on Saturday with Palestino only needing a draw to progress.

Wednesday saw Unión Española take on Universidad de Chile in the Estadio Santa Laura and whilst their may have not been any goals there was plenty of talking points. In the first half Unión managed to neutralise their opponent and managed to create chances of their own. For La U Lorenzeti, Ubilla and Guitierrez looked to keep Eduardo Lobos on his toes.

Despite the score finishing scoreless in the first half it was half that may have further ramifications for los azules as first Sebastián Martínez went off with a hamstring injury after fifteen minutes. His replacement Ezequiel Videla didn’t last long either and fifteen minutes later he had to leave the pitch with a knee injury after a collision with Emiliano Vecchio.

During the second half both teams had their opportunities to open the scoring but Herrera and Lobos kept them at bay, with the latter pulling off an important double save that kept the game scoreless. The return leg will be played on Sunday in the Estadio Nacional with los azules only needing a draw to progress to the semi-finals.

This round of matches came to an end in Talca as Rangers defeated Iquique 1-0 in front of their home fans. It was a 61st minute goal to Mauricio Gomez that proved to be the difference between the two teams as he got on the end of a Carlos Lopez cross. It got worse for Iquique as they were reduced to ten men in the 87th minute as Mauricio Zeneteno picked up his second yellow card. Gomez had another chance late on but his header went over the crossbar. The return leg will be played at the Estadio Tierra de Campeones on Sunday.

Primera Division Campeonato de Clausura 2012, Quarter-final fixtures, first leg

A. Italiano 0-2 Colo Colo (M. Olivi (CC) 39’, G. Fierro (CC) 42’)
Huachipato 1-1 Palestino (D. Chaves (PAL) 14′, N. Núñez (HU) 82′)
U. Española 0-0 U. de Chile
Rangers 1-0 Iquique (M. Gómez (RAN) 61’)
Photo taken from terra.cl
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