Chile win Copa America by defeating Argentina 4-2 in penalty shootout

Chile won the Copa America Centenario on Sunday, defeating Argentina 4-2 in the penalty shootout.

Nicolas Castillo, Charles Aranguiz, Jean Beausejour and Francisco Silva were on target for Chile after Arturo Vidal missed his shot. Captain Lionel Messi and Lucas Biglia missed their shots for Argentina at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, in a match that was 0-0 at the end of extra time.

Messi wept on the pitch as Chile's players celebrated.

"There is no limit to this team," a smiling Vidal said. "We will keep going, we will keep fighting."

"Argentina have a very good, world-class team, and it is especially beautiful to beat them," said striker Eduardo Vargas. "We are a historic group, we have proved it."

The first 90 minutes of the game had been somewhat subdued, as is usual in finals under great tension. 

In the 21st minute, Gonzalo Higuain had a great opportunity following a blunder by the Chilean defence. He ran into the box and was one-on-one with Chile's keeper Claudio Bravo, but his shot to the far post was just wide.

Chile were down to 10 men from the 28th minute, when midfielder Marcelo Diaz was sent off for a second bookable offence. However, their disadvantage in numbers was short-lived, since Argentina left-back Marcos Rojo saw a red card barely 15 minutes later for a foul on Arturo Vidal. 

In the 79th minute, Chile's striker Eduardo Vargas tested Sergio Romero, but the Argentina keeper produced a confident save. In injury time, a good run down the left from Jean Beausejour set up Alexis Sanchez, but the Arsenal striker failed to produce a shot in the presence of Ramiro Funes Mori, and Javier Mascherano managed to clear the ball.

Eight minutes into a fast-paced extra time, a great save from Romero denied Vargas what looked like a sure goal off a header. Barely one minute later, it was Bravo's turn to shine, as he managed to deflect a fantastic header from super-sub Sergio Aguero.

In the penalty shootout, Chile's players aimed better, and Bravo got to lift the trophy in the presence of FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

It was the third final Argentina lost in two years, following defeats to Germany in the 2014 World Cup and Chile in the 2015 Copa America. Argentina, who have not won a major senior title since the 1993 Copa America, failed to score a goal in the three decisive games, although they each involved 120 minutes of play.

On Saturday, Colombia beat the host team, the United States, 1-0 to secure third place in the tournament. The event marked the centennial of the Copa America, whose first edition was won by Uruguay in 1916.

Last update: Mon, 27/06/2016 - 11:50

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