SANTIAGO – Four teams played last in the Copa Sudamericana, the second cup in South-America. Three of them lost and only Unión La Calera had a good week. Universidad Católica will want to forget the match, as they can already forget their ambitions in the Copa after the devastating defeat they suffered.
Unión La Calera
A 64th minute goal from Franco Lobos gave Unión La Calera a slim 1-0 victory over Atlético Mineiro and was the only joy in what was an ultimately dismal week for Chilean teams in the Copa Sudamericana. La Calera now has the advantage but faces a daunting away tie in Brasil to progress into the third round of the tournament.
The other Chilean teams’ hopes of progress look slim, although Palestino will feel confident it can reverse a 2-1 deficit when Zulia of Venezuela travels to Santiago next week.
It looked like Palestino had secured an important draw in the 3rd minute of stoppage time when Nicolás Díaz (on loan from U. Católica) canceled out Moya’s opener. But the Palestino fans’ jubilance was short lived as Moya grabbed a winner two minutes later with the final kick of the game. It’s a vital away goal for Palestino but they will feel so disappointed not to have obtained the draw.
A 1-0 win in Santiago will be enough for them to qualify, but given Palestino’s somewhat haphazard defending a clean sheet is perhaps unlikely. It’s all set up for another classic night at the Apoquindo stadium on Wednesday night.
Universidad Católica & Unión Española
Católica and Unión Española both need a miracle to overturn the thumpings they received last week. Católica was on the wrong end of a 5-0 thrashing by Independiente del Valle in Ecuador on Thursday and Español succumbed to a dismal 3-0 defeat at home to Sporting Cristal. The Chilean team just couldn’t capitalize on the chances it had throughout the match.
All in all, two really disappointing displays and both teams will need to pull something special out of the bag to progress to the third round next week.
Editor-In-Chief Boris van der Spek is the founder of Chile Today.