Palestino through: relive a magical night in the Copa Libertadores

SANTIAGO – Tuesday night saw Palestino overcome Independiente Medellín on penalties to reach the third stage of the Copa Libertadores. In contrasting fortune, U. de Chile were knocked out of the competition the following night, only managing a goalless draw at home against Melgar, despite a valiant attacking display. Relive the Palestino victory, through the eyes of  die-hard Palestino fan, Chile Today´s own John Browning.

Palestino now face Talleres Córdoba of Argentina over two legs, the first of which is played in Córdoba on Tuesday 19 and the return leg one week later in Santiago. The winner of this match enters the group stages of the Copa Libertadores, where both U. Católica and U. de Concepción are waiting along with the other giants of South American football.

Coming into the match, Palestino needed either a win or draw by scoring more than one goal following the 1-1 draw at home. Palestino were unchanged from the first leg match in a 4-4-2 diamond, and Independiente switched to a somewhat defensive 5-3-2 formation even though they were playing at home.

As an aside, CONMEBOL streamed the match on Facebook and Palestino were the first Chilean team to be broadcast this way.

Palestino fails to beat Independiente Medellin in Santiago

In this largely even encounter Palestino did not show the same dominance as in the first half in Santiago. But they took the lead through a scrappy Jiménez goal in the 42nd minute. The man of the match’s shot was saved by Gonzalez only to rebound back of Jiménez and into the goal. The lead only lasted five minutes as a silly free kick, awarded from a handball by Vejar on the edge of the box to the right of the goal, was crossed in for Murillo to easily head home the equalizer.

Both teams created chances in the second half, again Medellín’s Ricaurte started to shine as the game wore on, but neither team could take the advantage. Independiente especially could not convert some excellent second half opportunities.

As the full time whistle blew, penalties beckoned. Unfortunately for Independiente, it wasn’t to be their night, both Moreno and then Ricaurte missing their spot kicks. Whilst Jorquera, Mago and Jiménez scored confidently to take an early 3-0 lead for Palestino. Perlaza saved some blushes for Independiente but it was left for Farias to deal the final blow and send Palestino into the third round of the Copa Libertadores.

Whilst the win is an incredible achievement for Palestino, the fixture congestion now becomes problematic as they have four matches in just 11 days. They travelled to Unión La Calera last for the first match of the new Chilean Primera División, a match that they urged league organisers to postpone and eventually lost 2-0. Currently, they are also scheduled to play Huachipato just two days before the second leg match against Talleres.


Independiente Medellín: Gonzales, Perlaza, Murillo, Palacios, Urrego, Mosquera, Ricaurte, Parra (Aras), Riascos (Moreno), Cano, Castro (Valencia)

Palestino:  Gonzáles, Vejar, Mago, Gonzáles, Soto, Cortes (Rosende), Farias, Fernández (Jorquera), Jiménez, Gutiérrez (Parades), Passerini

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