Colo-Colo Avoid the Club’s First Relegation by the Skin of Their Teeth
Colo-Colo, a team from Chile, recently avoided being relegated for the club’s first time thanks to a 1-0 win against Universidad Cencepcion.
To give you some context, if they have been relegated it would have been like Arsenal or Manchester United being relegated from the English Premier League.
They owe their survival to a teenager that goes by the name of Pablo Solari – it was his first professional goal that gave them the 1-0 win to keep them in the division. Colo-Colo have won 32 league titles, but they headed into this match knowing only a win would keep them up.
Win or We Kill You
At the final whistle, you could be forgiven for thinking that the players on the pitch had won a trophy or something – there were a lot of tears and hugs and all the players were mentally drained.
It is impossible not to feel a lot of stress in such a situation, especially when a banner was hung outside the stadium before the game that said, “Win or we kill you”. It was not the first time that South American footballers have been threatened with death depending on what happened during a game of football.
If they had lost and some players were murdered, this would also not be the first time something like that happened in a South American country. We are sure that everyone remembers the sad case of Andrés Escobar Saldarriaga. He was playing for Colombia in the 1994 FIFA World Cup and he scored an own goal against the United States that saw Colombia eliminated from the competition.
After the tournament, he returned home to Colombia and was gunned down in a parking lot as revenge for his own goal. It has been reported that one of the killers shouted “Gol!” every time they shot him. The guy who adjudged to have shot the bullet that killed him, got a 43-year prison sentence, but he was released after serving just eleven.
While there are many within Colombia who claim that his murder had nothing to do with football and that he was just in wrong place at the wrong time, we feel that it is more than just a coincidence that they shouted “goal” for each of the six bullets shot.
We can only imagine the type of pressure the players were under during those 90 make or break minutes. However, we should stress that the actions of some deplorable fans should not overshadow the support that was shown to them by most of their fans. In fact, Javier Parraguez shared a video on his Instagram account of the thousands of fans that had gathered to see the team off as they made their way to Talca for the game of their lives. There were many others that gathered along the streets to wave as they went by too.
Colo-Colo is the only team from Chile that have managed to win the Copa Libertadores, which is the equivalent to the Champions League in South America and last won the First Division title just three years ago, so this downfall to battling for survival was something that nobody could have predicted at the start of the season. They have had three managers this season, and things seem to be getting better under the guidance of Gustavo Quinteros.
Colo-Colo have had some household names play for them down the years such as Arturo Vidal, Alexis Sanchez, and Claudio Bravo – all three of these players have gone on to achieve a lot in the game.
This huge Chilean club survived by the skin of their teeth and Lady Luck was definitely with them on this final day of the season. Their victory was so unlikely that it was even remarked upon by sports bookies, as it was the sensation of the moment, beating all odds on Chilean betting sites like https://www.apostarenlinea.cl, which reported many happy players reaping a very unexpected reward.
In fact, they were so lucky that if we were them, we would have headed straight to a brick-and-mortar casino and tried our luck at some casino games. Or, to avoid possible Covid-19 contamination, they could have played online at on their way home. However, we bet that they all had far too much adrenaline coursing through their veins to think about doing a spot of gambling at online casinos.
They Are Not Well Liked in Chile
Despite the fact that they are the country’s most successful and biggest team, Colo-Colo are hated by fans of other clubs from Chile and most of them would have been cheering on their opponents.
Fans of Universida de Chile, their bitter rivals, would have been revelling in their downfall more than everyone else. Universidad de Chile suffered their own shocking relegation in 1988, and Colo-Colo fans have been laughing about it ever since. In South America, when a rival team suffers relegation, it is customary for supporters to dress up as the ghost of B.
Other big South American teams have suffered relegation in the past, such as Brazilian club Cruzeiro (2019), Argentinian giants River Plate (2011), and Peruvin Alianza Lima (2020).
Colo-Colo fans will be feeling ecstatic that they managed to avoid adding their own name to this list, but the road back to the top of the league looks like it could be quite a long one. However, at least they avoided relegation for the time being, and that was the most important step in their road to recovery.