Colo Colo win play-off to win 25th title

December 24, 2006

SANTIAGO, Dec 24 (Reuters) - Colo Colo came from behind to beat Audax Italiano 3-2 in the second leg of the final to win the Chilean Clausura championship and complete a double on Saturday.

Colo Colo had also won the Apertura tournament played in the first half of the season and emulated Cobreloa, the only other team to do the double since Chile adopted the system of two championships a year in 2002.

Colo Colo, who were declared bankrupt in 2002 but have bounced back after becoming the first team in the country to offer shares on the stock market, won 6-2 on aggregate.

Twenty-year-old prodigy Matias Fernandez, who is leaving to join Spanish club Villarreal, was giving a standing ovation after his last game for the club.

Rank outsiders Audax Italiano, who won the last of their four titles in 1957, trailed 3-0 from the first leg but gave Colo Colo a fright when midfielder Carlos Villanueva caught goalkeeper Sebastian Cejas napping two minutes into the second half.

However, Colo Colo replied with three goals in a 12-minute spell late in the game.

Striker Humberto Suazo scored on the turn in the 77th minute and struck again with an angled shot four minutes later, taking his tally for the competition to 15 and for the season to 51 in all competitions.

Luis Mena made it 3-1 in the 89th minute with a long-range shot and Argentine Gustavo Paruolo grabbed a last-minute consolation for Audax.

It was Colo Colo's 25th domestic title making them by far the country's most successful club. The nearest challengers are Universidad Catolica with 12.