The day UC sent U to the Second Division: “Many things can be speculated; each one sees the currency as he can”

January 15, 1989 is the darkest day in the history of Universidad de Chile. A football Sunday that was not like any other, one in which the last date of the ’88 tournament was played and that sentenced the descent of the blues to the second category for the first time in the rich blog of the club.

A tragedy that was lived in more than one scenario. The U was not able to beat Cobresal in the Nacional, a duel that ended 2-2. But the blues still had a bullet in the chamber, at a time when victory still only gave two points and a draw one.

In parallel, in San Carlos de Apoquindo, Universidad Católica could lend a hand to its classic rival if it beat the Spanish Union, a team that was fighting inch by inch with the Blues for the option of relegation.

Nevertheless, that duel ended in a 3-1 victory that sank the draw of Manuel Pellegrini in the B. A result that raised more than one suspicion at the time. Above all, when the same crossed cast, a couple of months earlier, had already put another brick in the descent of the U by beating it by the minimum.

Suspicions that are flatly denied by former fringe players. A failure that was conceived long before that crucial day, as recognized Patrick Mardonescrossed midfielder who played in that defeat against Luis Santibáñez’s team.

“The campaigns of a team are not measured by the last game. It did not go down because we with the Catholic lost with the Union. It came from before. That tournament, the performance was very irregular”, says the same midfielder who almost six years later would score the goal that would give the U another title after a quarter of a century.

Regarding the distrust caused by the unexpected defeat of the UC, he adds that “the press made him suspicious, but this was a very important match. For me it was special, because they came to see me from Europe. I even had a shot at the post at 10 minutes. We played the game to try to win, we didn’t know the result of the U”.

An opinion very similar to that of Fabian Estay, another of the footballers present on that January afternoon in Las Condes: “I remember that game. Many things can be speculated. If we had won they would have said that we were helping the U. Each one sees the currency as he can. But the truth is that if the U beat Cobresal it did not go down. It is unfortunate that the U has been in that position.”

Along the same lines, the ’98 World Cup player confirms that “it’s not just one game that can define something as delicate as relegation. Go through what you did during the championship.”

And although there are eight dates left for the end of the tournament, the truth is that on Saturday the UC once again he has at his feet the option of sinking his lifelong arch-rival a little more. A blue box that carries all the pressure on its shoulders

“The U is a team in need. A while ago he played with the pressure of scoring points, in the previous duel the same thing happened. The club does not have institutional stability. We hope it ends up in the division it has to be in, but it won’t be easy. At least it will arrive favored after beating Cobresal in the Chile Cup. In addition, the fact of playing in the National, with its people, can be an important factor, “he says. Mardones.

An opinion very similar to that of Backstay, who explains that “the turbulence of the U has been very long and these games are to lift or sink you. The U arrives very pressed, when they hurt him he falls and finds no reaction. It is easier to catch negative streaks than positive ones.”

and insists that “A defeat can be a very hard blow for U, because the team does not have much character, if it feels hurt it is not reactive. If the Catholic wins, it will affect the U a lot with the relegation”.

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