The international break is over which means the The Chilean Experience returns from its break and it’s another interesting week…
IQUIQUE 0-3 UNIVERSIDAD DE CHILE (CAMPEONATO PETROBRAS)
A return to league action saw a hugely important victory for La U. The trip to Iquique looked to be a tough one but the win was reasonably comfortable for Universidad de Chile as they continue in the battle for the title.
So, here we are once again. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I thought of the idea for The Chilean Experience and now it’s week 10. This opening paragraph thing also gives me the chance to draw your attention to a new series that began this past Friday called “My Favourite…” and looked at my favourite league (hint: there’s a whole experience based on it). Check it out here and if you want to contribute to the series then have a look at the Welcome page and get in touch. Anyway…
Three Universidad players – Jose Rojas, Johnny Herrera and Charles Aránguiz – were away on international duty with Chile and helped them to qualify for next summer’s World Cup. Rojas came on in the incredible game in Colombia while Aránguiz started against Ecuador. It shows the quality of the Universidad side and shows that the domestic game in Chile is of a good quality. That’s always a good thing.
Onto the game in Iquique and perhaps the most interesting thing for me was the performance. It was not the typical high intensity domination I’ve become accustomed to watching Universidad de Chile. It was a more reserved set up from Figueroa as the team sat back and easily held Iquique at bay before hitting on the counter. There were only a couple of moments of nerviness but they had nothing to do with the defending (incredibly!).
The big issue I had with the performance was in goals. Johnny Herrera is good enough to get called up internationally which does not say a lot about every other Chilean goalkeeper. He flapped at crosses and generally looked shaky throughout. This is not the first time I’ve mentioned my lack of confidence in Herrera and, needless to say, I’m still campaigning for Luis Marin to start. Birds should flap, goalkeepers shouldn’t.
Perhaps the biggest plus from the game was once again the performance of Charles Aránguiz. Calm in possession, creative, a constant menace and scoring two beautiful free kicks to pretty much secure the points. With his contract up next summer, and Udinese seemingly lurking, it’s games like this that make me fear his inevitable departure. He still deserves it. Quality footballer.
The weeks biggest shock came in the form of “Bobo” Díaz. Normally the source of all my anger at La U, he was actually useful this week. Coming off the bench, he didn’t annoy me and, even more shockingly, he scored an actual goal. And it was a goal that required technique. There is hope still for “Bobo”.
WEEK 11 PREVIEW
Week 11 is by far the biggest week in the extremely short history of The Chilean Experience. Universidad de Chile host the league leaders Universidad Católica needing a win to close the gap to just two points at the top. Católica have only lost one game thus far in the league so it will be a tough one for La U.
That was Week 11 of The Chilean Experience. Apologies for the short amount of observations as there wasn’t a whole lot going on in the game. Tune back in next week for Week 12 if you enjoyed it.