Football

Published on September 29th, 2014 | by John Lyons

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Stumbling Colo Colo let crucial points slip away

Colo Colo´s hopes of retaining their Chilean crown suffered a serious setback when they were held to a 0-0 draw by Ñublense at the Monumental.
It means arch-rivals Universidad de Chile now have a five-point gap at the top of the table, a nice cushion ahead of the October 19 super clásico.
After la U´s exciting 3-2 win on Audax Italiano´s artificial pitch on Saturday, the pressure was on Colo Colo to secure all three points against Ivo Basay´s men.
Midfielder Emiliano Vecchio was unlucky to see his chip bounce back off the crossbar early on, but the albos – clearly missing the injured Jaime Valdés and suspended Jean Beausejour – lost their way after that.
Despite all their efforts, the albos couldn´t make the breakthrough and the visitors also had the odd chance to claim a famous victory.
It was a week Colo Colo will be glad to see the back of – in midweek they crashed out of the Copa Chile with a 3-0 defeat against bogey side Universidad de Concepción.
Colo Colo boss Héctor Tapia said: “We´re disappointed because we ran and we fought, but we couldn´t find the key to win the game. The draw doesn´t help us, but there´s still a long way to go.”
While the albos appear over-reliant on an injury-hit Esteban Paredes, Universidad de Chile have got bags of firepower to pick from.
Front three Pato Rubio, Sebastián Ubilla and Gustavo Canales were all on target in the victory at Audax. That attacking prowess may prove crucial in the title run-in.
If anyone can get in to spoil the Colo Colo-la U fight, it´s Santiago Wanderers. They are now just a point adrift of second-placed Colo Colo after an impressive 3-1 win at Universidad de Concepción.
The highly-impressive Jorge Luna struck twice, while their other star player, Roberto Gutiérrez, also netted.
Unión Española are up to fourth after their last-gasp 1-0 home win against bottom-of-the-table Antofagasta. Defender Jorge Ampuero rifled home in stoppage time for a team that are missing the firepower that the likes of ex-strikers Rubio and Canales gave them.
O´Higgins are up to fifth after coming from behind late on to stun lowly Barnechea. Nicolás Maturana put the hosts ahead in the 68th minute, but substitutes Diego Chaves (78) and Luis Valenzuela (87) turned the game on its head.
Universidad Católica made it back-to-back wins with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Cobresal, Mauro Óbolo netting.
Veteran striker Renato ´the shark´ Ramos netted twice as Palestino bagged an excellent 4-2 win against Iquique in the north, while Cobreloa earned a priceless three points with a 1-0 victory at San Marcos de Arica.

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