Unión Española took a big step towards claiming its seventh title after they defeated Huachipato 3-1 in the Estadio Santa Laura in the first leg of the final to determine who will be crowned 2012 Clausura champion.
Huachipato, who are looking to claim their second ever title, got off to a good start in that quest as Nicolás Núñez found the back of the net after only ten minutes. With the Unión defence missing Rafael Olarra due to suspension there were a number of a dangerous moments early with Braian Rodríguez and César Cortés causing plenty of problems.
Things got worse for la furia roja when Gonzalo Villagra had to be substituted in the 35th minute after picking up an injury. In his place Unión manager José Luis Sierra introduced striker Patricio Rubio in what was a positive substitution.
A key to Unión’s recent success has been their impressive second half form and that continued in this match. This time they had a little help from their opponents as Huachipato defender Omar Merlo turned a Nicolás Berardo cross into his own net in the 48th minute.
Five minutes later Patricio Rubio had a chance to give Unión the lead but in the 60th minute Sebastián Jaime did just that with a brilliant piece of individual skill. Shortly after Huachipato dangerman César Cortés hit the post for the visitors. Jaime then gave the home side a 3-1 advantage in the 78th minute as he was the first to react after Huachipato goalkeeper was unable to gather a strike from Mauro Díaz.
The return leg will be in played on Sunday in the Estadio CAP in Talcahuano.