Probably no one ever imagined that Colo Colo was going to be 90 minutes away from losing the category, nor did the greatest enemy or archrival think so, but the truth is that it is a reality that few believed possible.
This hard road of the albos started, paradoxically, full of smiles and celebrations, since On December 20, 2018, the Chief introduced Mario Salas as a new coach. A DT that arrived from Peru with two titles in his pocket: The Summer Tournament and the 2018 Opening Tournament, so the expectations at the Monumental were high.
The good performance in the brewing team led him to Colo Colo with the aim of repeating what was done in Peru, obtaining drinks and implementing a new dynamic in training to get a long-term job that came hand in hand with success.
That on paper, because the reality was very different. Although on January 22, 2020 he stayed with the Chile Cup after beating Universidad de Chile in the final, the poor results in the national tournament, three points in five dates, led him to leave the institution one month after that title .
Although those of the ‘Commander’ in Colo Colo were barely 14 months, the truth is that his decisions in the team affected not only the performance of the team, but there were also damages that would be reflected in the future since the club was resented by the way in which some figures and other references appeared.
Let’s remember. On July 24, 2019, the surprising departure of Agustín Orion, an experienced goalkeeper who left the team by decision of the DT, caused the annoyance of several referents who did not agree with the determination. This fact brought friction in the dressing room and the differences began.
The Argentine goalkeeper was later joined by the exits of Jaime Valdés and Jorge Valdivia, two Colo Colo idols who left the team due to the discomfort of players and fans, a situation that ended up burying the strategist and generating his separation with a poor performance, dressing room friction and low level of reinforcements.
In March 2020, Gualberto Jara took over from the Colo Colo bench. The DT arrived as an interim to try to improve what was done by Mario Salas, however the suspension of the tournament for five months due to Covid-19, the extra-football problems with the squad and the fact of not being able to carry out training via face-to-face or remotely, they depleted him from a good preparation. This was noticed after the resumption of the championship in August, where the team expressed little football and a lot of physical exhaustion. Thus, with a 33.3% yield, in October he left the first team and gave way to Gustavo Quinteros.
The arrival of the Argentine DT promised a lot of work and the intention to return to the triumphs to remove the team from the penultimate place in which it was in the standings, which turned out to be more complex than expected.
Although the coach arrived with the speech of working to quickly get the team out of that uncomfortable situation, the truth is that the dates passed and the Macul cast could not find a good football to rebound. To this were added injuries and expulsions that continued to make work difficult, and each date was a new suffering for the Albo people.
Quinteros began his cycle in Colo Colo with an equality against Coquimbo Unido in Sánchez Rumoroso, but they had to spend five dates to just add three units, it was against Audax Italiano and where there was a light of hope to generate a takeoff, but it was not So. The albos continued to score points, so much so that in a total of 21 games played with Quinteros on the bench, they accumulated five wins, nine draws and seven losses.
In this way, Colo Colo was sentenced to play the defining match for permanence. Something that many thought would never happen, but the changes of technicians, the pandemic, the lack of physical and football work, generated chaos in the club that they must now try to fix in the most important 90 minutes in the history of a club accustomed to fight for titles and at the top of the table. This is something new for the Cacique, something from which they will have to draw lessons for what is coming, either in First or First B.