An 81st minute chip from Tolima substitute Rafael Castillo was enough to condemn Pereira to relegation with five games left to play. Although Pereira sit comfortably in 12th place, the damage was done in their disastrous 2011 opening season. Pereira collected just eight points in the whole season as they embarked on a record-breaking 34 match run without a win, lasting for over a year. They now face B league football for the first time in over a decade.
At the other end of the table, Junior retained top spot with a 2-1 victory away to Once Caldas. The home side took an early lead when Jefferson Cuero Castro finished off a pacey run with a firm finish. However, it lasted just two minutes after Norvey Anchila tapped in an open goal before Jossymar Gomez secured the win with a well-struck free kick from distance.
In second place, Itagui kept up their fine form with a 1-0 win over rivals Quindio. A Lionard Pajoy volley after 14 minutes was enough to separate the teams, leaving Itagui just one point off the top, while Quindio drop down to 6th.
Chico drop down to third after a 1-1 draw with America. They were lucky to come away from their match with a point, needing a wicked deflection from a John Jairo Montaño free kick to equalise a Jairo Castillo strike.
Behind them, Millonarios maintained their recent good form with a 1-0 win over Envigado. Although it took an Edison Colorado tap-in to earn all three points, they could have been scored three or four after they squandered a host of chances in a match they dominated.
Nacional’s winless streak has now extended to four games after they drew 0-0 in a lifeless game against Cartagena. They now find themselves in 10th position with a place in the second phase of the season far from certain. Meanwhile, local rivals Medellin kept up their recent mini-rival thanks to Jaime Castrillon, who earned them a 1-0 victory over Santa Fe when he controlled a long ball into the area and volleyed home.
In the weekend’s other games, Cali could only manage a 0-0 draw against struggling La Equidad, who now slide back into the bottom two, while bottom placed Cucuta completed their first win in ten games with a 1-0 victory against Hulia.