Eion Smith returns to recap us on another week of the Chilean Experience…
UNIVERSIDAD DE CHILE 1-1 INDEPENDIENTE DEL VALLE (COPA SUDAMERICANA 2ND ROUND FIRST LEG)
UNIVERSIDAD DE CHILE 5-0 ANTOFAGASTA (PRIMERA DIVSION)
Another undefeated week for Universidad but a mixed one again. The home draw in the first leg of the Sudamericana tie with Ecuador’s Independiente del Valle was disappointing because of the away conceded but the thumping win over Antofagasta took the team’s unbeaten run to 6 games.
I would like to begin my thoughts with an apology. I have lagged on posting on the blog and over on Twitter. There are a few reasons for this – moving, life etc. – but I am now settled and ready to get back on track. I won’t be rushing my posts out but rather focusing on quality and reader enjoyment. Feedback would be great going forward and, of course, once again I am sorry.
On to Universidad now and I want to begin on a negative note. A draw at home in the Sudamericana is awful. When you are faced with a home game in the first leg of a two legged tie you want to accomplish two things. First, you want to win and put yourself in such a strong position for the return leg that you can barely break a sweat. Universidad didn’t do that. Secondly, you want to keep a clean sheet because of the danger of the away goals rule. Universidad definitely did not do that. Add in the fact that the last away trip in the Sudamericana wasn’t a pretty sight and it all adds up to a tough night for fans and players in Ecuador.
On to the positives now and the first one this week is the depth of the squad that Universidad have. Antofagasta were a potential banana skin for the team and when the teamsheet was released, many could be forgiven for fearing the worst. However, players like Luis Marin, Roberto Cereceda and Patricio Rubio saw to it that fans could be excited about the squad as a whole this year. The starters have been relatively settled so far this season but they must have been running on empty when Figueroa left them out and it was pleasing to see such a dominant performance. The reserves really wanted to prove themselves and many will now be in contention for regular starting spots going forward.
The Player of the Week this week is none other than Patricio Rubio. He hasn’t really played so far this season but against Antofagasta he showed why he is at the club. His 4 goal haul was hugely impressive and he is already ahead of first choice Isaac Díaz in the goalscoring charts. Rubio has the potential to become the goal machine that the team needs to take it to the next level.
WEEK 6 PREVIEW
Week 6 begins on Thursday in the fine country of Ecuador as Universidad attempt to get past Independiente del Valle in the Sudamericana. Following that it is back to league action on Sunday with a home game against Santiago Wanderers. Wanderers have not won in 4 games and sit in 11th place in the league on 6 points following a 2-2 home draw with O’Higgins in their last game.
That was Week 5 of The Chilean Experience. Stay tuned for Week 6 next week.