It was a week of utter disappointment for fans of the four remaining Chilean teams in the Copa Sudamericana. It was always going to be a tough ask for Palestino, U. Católica, and Unión Español after poor showings in the first leg matches, but Unión La Calera stood a real chance of progression if it could defend a 1-0 lead away in Brasil.
Unión La Calera
Sadly, it wasn’t to be for La Calera which soaked up a barrage of pressure from Atletico Mineiro throughout the first half and deep into the second. Despite resolute defending, the team couldn’t prevent a 70th minute goal by Alerrandro which made the teams all square on aggregate.
Neither team could grab a winner in the tense final 20 minutes and the game went to penalties. La Calera’s luck was up in the shoot-out: they could not convert a single spot kick. With La Calera missing all three attempts and Miniero scoring all three, it was a terrible way for the Chilean team to leave the competition.
Palestino fared no better in the match with Zulia at home in the National Stadium of Santiago. The conversion of a 78th minute penalty for a silly foul by goalkeeper González was enough to grab Zulia the win on the night and a 2-0 aggregate win overall. The misery was complete with a red card for Gutiérrez in the last minute of play.
Católica gave a spirited performance at home, winning 3-2 against Independiente del Valle, but it was not nearly enough to overcome the 5-0 drubbing suffered in Ecuador.
Unión Español never even looked like it would progress to the 3rd round. A 3-0 defeat to Sporting Cristal was a complete repeat of the defeat with the same score at home the previous week. The team was simply outclassed over the two legs.
Read here the reports of the first leg of the 2nd round of the Copa Sudamericana:
All Chilean Teams Out
It is the end of the line for all Chilean teams in international tournaments this year. None managed to progress pass the group stages of the Copa Libertadores, and the Copa Sudamericana did not prove any more fruitful. This is a big blow for the international standing of the Chilean league and may have knock-on effects for the quota of teams entered into future tournaments.
Chilean fans of international football now need to look forward to the Copa América in Brasil which starts in less than 2 weeks, although many will be disappointed to see so few domestic players represented in the national team. More on that next week.
Fans of international football will also be tuning in to the Women’s World Cup in France, when Chile start its campaign against Sweden on June 11.
John is a volcanologist, sports fan, radio broadcaster, and accomplished musician. Born and raised in Britain, he has travelled extensively for his research on volcanoes. Whilst living in London, UK, John performed in the punk bands ‘And Now We’re Even’ and ‘Filthy Militia’ recording six studio albums and two EP’S over this time. He currently lives in Santiago, Chile where he works as a university professor in rock mechanics.