Monday, 15 December 2008

Chile: Honours Even Between Palestino and Colo Colo in Clausura Final First Leg

Deportivo Palestino and Colo Colo drew 1-1 in a fiery first leg of the Chilean Clausura final on Sunday, in a match that saw the home side fight back from a first half deficit despite playing most of the second period with just nine men.

Palestino were playing in their first Clausura final in over twenty years and the underdogs did little to improve their chances of taking the title when they afforded Colo Colo an ideal opportunity to take the lead after 26 minutes.

In-form striker Lucas Barrios latched onto an Arturo Sanhueza through-ball and was promptly upended inside the area by Palestino goalkeeper Felipe Nunez. Nunez received his marching orders, and Barrios made no mistake from the spot, firing home his 36th goal of the year.

The home side further shot themselves in the foot when midfielder Roberto Bishara was red-carded for a second bookable offence just minutes into the second half.

Colo Colo sensed blood, and laid siege to the Palestino goal as they looked to end the tie in advance of the second leg, striking the post on two seperate occasions.

However, the home side remained a threat on the break, and got an improbable equaliser with just over ten minutes left to play. Francisco Ibanez broke free of his marker on the half-way line and continued forward, skipping past Sanhueza on the edge of the area before slotting the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

Colo Colo rallied in the remaining minutes, but were unable to force a winner, leaving the tie delicately balanced ahead of the decisive second leg at the Estadio Monumental David Arellano this coming Saturday.

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