The first 40 minutes were dead even in the Copa Sudamericana final, but Universidad de Chile nicked a late goal to go ahead 1-0 on LDU Quito just before the halftime whistle. The pace has been fast and the play has been extremely physical, and until just before the end of the half, the final ball had been lacking while both goalkeepers had been excellent. La U playmaker Charles Aranguiz and Liga goalkeeper Alexander Domínguez Carabalí changed that in the 43rd minute.
La U should have had a penalty in the first five minutes. Gustavo Canales was hauled down in the box in the fifth minute by Norberto Araujo, but the referee didn't give a penalty. This would set the tone for the rest of the half, where the referee let the teams played and called very few fouls. The officiating has perhaps been poor, but it has been very consistent and has not favored either side.
Liga had a fantastic chance to take the lead in the 42nd minute, when Lucas Acosta played a fantastic cross from the right side to the back post for Hernan Barcos. The Argentinian striker has been in stellar scoring form, but despite the fact that he had the ball fall onto his foot perfectly, he completely shanked his shot. Johnny Herrera was nowhere to be found on the cross and he had the net at his mercy. Simply put, it was a sitter.
It took less than a minute for Universidad de Chile to hit back. The final pass had been seriously lacking for La U for most of the half, but Aranguiz finally provided one for Eduardo Vargas to run onto in the 43rd minute. Carabali came out too soon and Vargas easily dribbled around him, then tapped the ball into the back of the net to give his team the lead.
Liga are going to struggle to get a result away in Santiago. If they want to keep this final interesting, they will need to not only score, but score twice and take a lead to Chile for the second leg.