Pablo Solari scored the only goal of the game. Photo by DRAGOMIR YANKOVIC/PHOTOSPORT/AFP via Getty Images
Chilean side Colo-Colo avoided being relegated for the first time in the club’s 96-year history with a 1-0 win at Universidad Concepcion.
Teenager Pablo Solari, who joined Colo-Colo on loan from Argentinian side Talleres in November, scored his first professional goal on Wednesday to help the side stay up.
A brilliant individual play from the 19-year-old winger gave Colo-Colo a 19th-minute lead and their most important win since their 1991 Copa Libertadores victory over Olimpia de Paraguay.
– Stream FC Daily on ESPN+
“I’m very excited to have scored a goal in such an occasion,” Solari said.
“I would love to stay in what is the biggest club in Chile. It’s where I’ve made my debut and I’m never going to forget this. This club will hold a very important place in my heart.”
The club based in Greater Santiago, has won a record 32 Chilean league titles and 11 Copa Chile trophies. However, a dismal campaign left them heading into Wednesday’s relegation decider knowing that only a win would see them remain in the top flight.
A banner with death threats aimed at players was displayed at the club’s training ground ahead of their trip to Talca.
Claudio Bravo and Arturo Vidal were among former Colo-Colo players that sent messages of encouragement to the team.
Por nuestra gente que ha desbordado los caminos, por quienes su única alegria es #ColoColo. No abandonen a nuestro pueblo, hagan el máximo esfuerzo. Vamos muchachos estamos con ustedes 💪🏻 siempre positivos, hasta el último segundo.
En la adversidad somos grandes
Vamos @ColoColo pic.twitter.com/3zvRLpbAT2
— Claudio Bravo Muñoz (@C1audioBravo) February 17, 2021
“I’ve taken a big weight off my shoulders,” Colo-Colo coach Gustavo Quinteros said after the game.
“We had a lot of players missing, we had a final and we won. This has been a huge learning process. Now I’m more eager than ever to win titles with this club.”
Universidad Concepcion joined Deportes Iquique and Coquimbo Unido in the second tier.