EDMONTON - Cristian Bogado scored three goals as Chilean club team Colo-Colo salvaged a 4-3 victory over FC Edmonton in an international friendly on Sunday at Commonwealth Stadium.

However, it wasn't so much about winning for the fledgling Edmonton soccer club as it was about being competitive.

And they were certainly that.

FC Edmonton, which is set to join the North American Soccer League next year, continued its year-ahead preparation with an exhibition against the Chilean club, one of seven matches slated for the new team this summer.

Edmonton came off a 3-0 victory over what amounted to the practice squad of the NASL’s Montreal Impact earlier in the week, but they looked like they would be tested by Colo-Colo, which was obligated to dress its starters for at least the first half.

However, it was Edmonton that started the scoring in the 12th minute. much to the surprise of the largely pro-Chilean crowd of 5,573. Defender Paul Hamilton moved up for a free kick by Paul Matthijs from 35 yards out and headed the ball just inside the post past Colo-Colo keeper Nery Veloso.

"It was all about getting through those first 15 minutes," FC Edmonton head coach Dwight Lodeweges said. "If you don't, and they have so many skills, that if they put two goals in there, we're dead. Then it could run to 8-0 or 9-0.

"But we scored the first one. It was brilliant."

Bogado drew the Chileans level in the 26th minute, heading in a cross by Roberto Cereceda.

Colo-Colo went ahead 2-1 in the 37th minute as Bogado chipped the ball up and over goalkeeper Rein Baart, who had come way out of the Edmonton net to challenge for the ball.

Edmonton tied the game just two minutes later on a 20-yard blast into the corner of the Colo-Colo net from midfielder Mat Lam.

Colo-Colo, considered one of the world's top 30 club teams, regained the lead in the 47th minute as Phillip Araos put his own rebound into the Edmonton net.

But the young Edmonton squad fought back to tie it up once again as striker Milan Timotijevic stripped the ball from defender Sebastian Toro and cleanly beat the keeper in the 70th minute.

Once again it was Bogado who pulled Colo-Colo back into the lead, sending a ball inches past the outstretched fingers of Baart in the 82nd minute to make it 4-3.

Edmonton had some solid chances in the dying minutes with a penalty kick and a pair of corners, but couldn't tie it up a final time.

"We probably showed too much respect for them in the first half, but then we started playing our own game," Lodeweges said. "We played some good soccer. And we could have gotten more."

Edmonton certainly gained the respect of its opponents.

"Edmonton has a good team for how long they have been together," Bogado said. "They made it hard on us out there. They demonstrated that they have talent."

"The people of Chile will be surprised," added Colo-Colo president Guillermo MacKennar. "Very technical defence. Very good match. I did not know we were playing such a good team. Very good players."

Colo-Colo is the only Chilean club to have played in every season of the Primera Division, winning a combined total of 46 titles since their formation 85 years ago.

They were a daunting team for FC Edmonton to face in just their second-ever outing, but the team feels tests like this one will pay off in the long run.

"Bringing them here, I think it shows Edmonton and all the soccer fans that we're serious about where we want to go," said FC Edmonton general manager Mel Kowalchuk. "After this game, I don't think they’ll be afraid to face anyone in the world because they have already faced one of the top organizations and teams in the world."

Other matches this summer for FC Edmonton include the Ottawa Fury (July 6), England’s Portsmouth (July 21), the Victoria Highlanders (Aug. 11), the Spokane Spiders (Aug. 15) and the NASL’s Miami FC (Aug. 28).

Edmonton originally had another international match set up against Brazil’s Vitoria on June 27 but has instead allowed Colo-Colo to take the game, setting up an all South American match.

Notes: The somewhat odd 4 p.m. local starting time was due to FIFA regulations preventing games from taking place at the same time as World Cup matches… Colo-Colo is spending two weeks in Canada for a mid-season training camp, held in the Edmonton suburb of Sherwood Park. Vitoria will also spend close to a week training in the Edmonton area when it visits.

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