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Chile advances to Copa America final over 10-man Peru





For the third time in history, and first time on home soil, Chile will play in the Copa America final.

Taking advantage of an early red card to Peru and a pair of goals from Eduardo Vargas, including a firecracker in the second half to re-take the lead, Chile held on at the Estadio Nacional to defeat Peru, 2-1, on Monday evening.

The intensity was present from the very beginning, as Arturo Vidal and Carlos Zambrano got into a small scuffle early on. The Peruvian defender was shown a yellow card in the 7th minute for a takedown of Alexis Sanchez just outside of the penalty area on the right wing.

On the other end, Paulo Guerrero chased down the ball in the 9th minute and swung in a dangerous cross after beating Vidal, but to the agony of Peru, Jefferson Farfan’s header hit the left post and bounced back into play.

Despite the match taking place in Chile’s capital, Peru didn’t let up the pressure in the beginning, and in the 17th minute, Carlos Lobaton rippled the side-netting with a blast after Guerrero played a neat ball into his path.

However, for the second consecutive game, Chile finished the match with at least a one-man advantage, due to Peru defender Carlos Zambrano being shown a straight red card after only twenty minutes into the match.

Zambrano was penalized, some say harshly, for following through on a powerful clearance with his studs into the back of Chile’s Charles Aránguiz. Although Zambrano had already been yellow carded, the referee José Argote showed Zambrano a straight red card and pointed for Zambrano to go directly to the locker room.

For the second straight week, Chile capitalized on the advantage, with Vargas netting the first of the night close to halftime.

Chile would amp up its attack with the advantage, and in the 28th minute, Jorge Valdivia just missed the bottom-right corner of the goal. Sanchez and Vidal connected nicely in the 31st minute, but to no avail, and three minutes later, Vargas was wide open at the top of the six-yard box, but his shot was blocked.

After looking up for the challenge in the first fifteen minutes, Peru couldn’t contain Chile’s dynamic attack forever.

Vargas finally found the goal in the 42nd minute after a scrappy few moments in front of goal. Sanchez whipped in a cross from the left, which careened off of the right post untouched and into the feet of Vargas, who trickled it over the line, even though replays showed the forward was slightly offside on Sanchez’s initial cross into the area.

In the second half, a Gary Medel own goal off a strong counter-attack down the right wing gave Peru hope of an improbable comeback, but it was short-lived.

In the 60th minute, Luis Advincula ripped a cross across the six-yard box, and in an attempt to prevent a goal, Chile defender Medel tipped the cross into his own net, tying the match at one.

But Vargas smashed home in his second goal of the night, and fourth goal of the tournament, four minutes after the own goal and sent Chile ahead of Peru with less than a half an hour to play.

Peru desperately tried to crawl its way back into the match, and Guerrero roared for a penalty with approximately ten minutes to play, as he and Medel chased down a ball in the box, but his call went unheard by the referee. Peru’s strong run in the 2015 Copa America ended in Santiago, Chile.

Meanwhile, Chile will meet the winner of Argentina and Paraguay, who meet Tuesday, on Saturday in Santiago.


  1. I am still fuming even though I did not have a dog in that fight…this was a disgrace. Just give the Chileans the trophey already and save us the charade…

  2. Sorry Ives. Los Incas put up a valiant effort though. But playing down a man (two if you count the referee) on the road was too tall a task against the quality the Chile have.

  3. Even with 10 men, Peru was the better team. They finally have a coach that can bring out the best in them. Advincula is a player to watch. And how Vidal continues to push the limits and not receive any cards is amazing.

    • – Vidal placed the palm of his hand on the defender’s face then pushed him back. How can that not be red card?

      – the red card on zambrano was BS, he had no room for the follow through of his leg after blasting the ball away, the Chilean player closed in looking for the contact. Naive ref.

      Chile is a better team, no need for antics against peru, especially after what they did to Uruguay and Cavanni. I now dislike Chile.

  4. I am not going to say they don’t deserve to win, but Chile should not need a player sent off to beat Peru. Something tells me CONMEBOL was just making sure they made it to the final. I got all my money on Argentina to spoil the party.

  5. I’m sad it didn’t go our way, but what is happening with this Peru team is promising. I hope they keep Iggy Pop for awhile.

    • Just like the soft pk against Brazil by the Uruguayan ref. This Brazil team was disappointing, but that meaningless handball will never be called against, say Uruguay or Paraguay. In fact, if refs would apply the same standards to Uruguay and Paraguay and some other teams, they’d end up many games minus 2-3 players. It changes completely the game plan when teams are allowed to foul to dispossess you without a call. The same thing is happening to Argentina to a lesser degree (just remember all the fouls against Messi in the Colombia game that weren’t called). And, that Colombian keeper allowed to waste 10-15 minutes in every game his team is being dominated, disgusting by CONMEBOL.

    • Normally I’m not one to jump onto conspiracy theories. This tournament is beginning to stink, though. First, the questionable sending off of Cavani, Uruguay’s best striker, now a questionable sending off of Peru’s best defender. Too much of a coincidence. I think that maybe word has been sent down that the home side has to make the final to insure that more tickets are sold.


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