Unión and Huachipato with the advantage after first legs of semi-finals

The first legs of the semi-finals saw both Unión Española and Huachipato run out winners with both teams hoping that their advantage will be enough to progress to the final.

Unión Española took a big step towards qualifying for its first playoff final since 2009 after defeating Colo Colo 3-1 in the first leg of their semi-final at the Estadio Santa Laura. Like its previous match against Universidad de Chile it was an impressive second half performance that saw los hispanos run out winners.

Unión Española started the stronger of the two teams with both Sebastián Jaime and Mauro Diaz having chances to open the scoring in the opening minutes. However it was Colo Colo who took the lead in the 30th minute courtesy of José Pedro Fuenzalida, whose long range effort found its way past Eduardo Lobos in the Unión goal. The goal gave los albos some much needed confidence and they started to impose themselves on the game but the scoreline remained the same going into the halftime break.

The first ten minutes of the second half turned the tie on its head as first Emilio Hernández was put through by Diego Scotti to level the scores in the 47th minute before an individual effort from Sebastián Jaime gave Unión the lead in the 55th minute. After the two goals los hispanos controlled proceedings but Colo Colo had their chances with Lobos denying Carlos Muñoz in the 72nd minute and Rafael Caroca in the 83rd minute. It was in stoppage time that Unión grabbed what could be an important two goal buffer as Patricio Rubio headed home in a goal mouth scramble.

The return leg will be played on Sunday in the Estadio Monumental with Colo Colo needed to win by two goals to progress to the final.

Unión Española 3-1 Colo Colo

In the other semi-final Huachipato defeated Rangers de Talca in front of their home fans in the Estadio CAP.

The opening half was a tight affair but it was Huachipato who had the better chances to open the scoring with clearest falling to Cesar Cortes whose shot was deflected onto the post in the 40th minute.

In the second half both teams went in search of the opener and it was Huachipato who succeeded in the 57th minute as Manuel Villalobos found the back of the net. Four minutes later Rangers had a chance to equalise but Milton Caraglio spurned a great opportunity and the match ended with only the solitary goal being scored.

The return leg will be played in the Fiscal de Talca on Sunday with Rangers needing to win by a goal to make the final match of the season.

Photo taken from elgrafico.cl
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