South American Roundup: Unstoppable Universidad de Chile book place in Apertura final

A brilliant triple from Fernandes books a deciding clash with O'Higgins, as the U hunt a third consecutive domestic title

Universidad de Chile bounced back in style from their elimination from the Copa Libertadores, destroying rivals Colo Colo to confirm their place in the final of the Apertura competition. Trailing 2-0 from the first leg and having been knocked out of the Copa by Boca, the U showed no mercy to put their season back on track at the expense of the disappointing visitors.

Junior Fernandes was the hero for the hosts, netting a superb hat-trick as Jorge Sampaoli's men ran out 4-0 victors. Angelo Henriquez was also on target for Universidad while Colo Colo sank without a trace. The Azul move on to meet O'Higgins in the final; the regular season runners-up drew 2-2 on aggregate with Union Espanola after Saturday's 2-1 win, but progress by virtue of league standing.


As the second stage of Colombia's Apertura reaches its midway point, unbeaten Santa Fe are hungry to make the final. The Bogota giants lie top of Group B with seven points from their first three outings, having narrowly seen off the challenge of Itagui at the weekend. The visitors had to hold on with 10 men following Edwin Cardona's expulsion, but Diego Cabrera made the difference with the only goal of the game to hand his side a 1-0 victory.

In Group A, meanwhile, Deportivo Cali and Pasto are neck and neck in a thrilling tussle at the top. Both sides drew on Sunday afternoon; Cali were grateful for Alvaro Dominguez's equaliser as they were held 1-1 by Deportes Tolima, while Pasto faced the agony of conceding in the 88th minute as they had to settle for a share of the points by the same scoreline at home to Atletico Huila. With three games gone the pair are level on five points, both yet to taste defeat in the post-season.


Independiente Jose Teran are on the cusp of winning their first title just two years after making their Serie A bow, as the Sangolqui outfit enjoy a narrow lead at the Primera Fase summit. Carlos Sevilla's charges kept their dreams alive with a 2-1 victory over El Nacional, that moves them one point clear of the chasing pack with just two games to play.

The leaders were helped by their more established title rivals faltering across the board. LDU Quito and Deportivo Quito played out a 0-0 clasico stalemate that did Liga little good in their bid to finish on top, falling five points off the pace. Barcelona are the closest challengers, but the Guayaquil side endured two missed penalties on their way to a goalless draw against fellow high-fliers Liga de Loja; a result that allowed Independiente to leapfrog both teams on their way to the top.