The 2015 Copa America Final is this afternoon and we have two teams who got here under very different circumstances and haven’t won the tournament in a very long time. The host, Chile, has never won the Copa America and while they are 14 time champions, Argentina hasn’t won the continental title since 1993. We look at how each country got here and what a Copa America win means to each country.
Chile got here in one of the most peculiar ways. Chile got through the Group Stage rather easily by beating Ecuador 2-0, drawing Mexico in a 3-3 thriller and beating Bolivia 5-0. Then things took an unexpected turn when their star player Arturo Vidal crashed his Ferrari during the tournament and was found to be under the influence.
Now if you thought that would be it in terms of bizarre behavior, you would be incredibly wrong. Chile beat Uruguay 1-0 in the Quarterfinals because Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani got sent off for getting a finger up his rear end. Guess I should add a little more context to that. Chile’s Gonzalo Jara had been badgering Cavani, who was on a yellow card, to try and get him sent off. With nothing else working, Jara gave a little “how do you do,” Cavani swiped back like a completely rational person would if they weren’t expecting and/or didn’t want a finger going up their backside. And while it was a very light slap, Jara went down to the ground like someone shot him and he got what he wanted. Cavani was sent off, Chile scored afterward and won 1-0 and advanced. And, oh yeah, the referee of this game who missed that call is the referee for the Final.
After beating Peru 2-1 to advance to the Copa America Final, they now face Argentina. Chile has never won the Copa America and they only finished runner up four times (last in 1987). Chile has been at their best in a long time as well as hosting, this is Chile’s best chance to finally win the title that has eluded them and may become the 8th country to win the Copa America.
Argentina got through in a little more conventional and quieter way. They drew their first game against Paraguay but after 1-0 wins against Uruguay and Jamaica, Argentina easily won their group. They got a tough Quarterfinal matchup against Colombia and Argentina had to win in penalties. And after beating Paraguay in a rematch from the Group Stage in the Semifinal, Argentina was back in the Final for the 27th time.
While Argentina looks to tie Uruguay for most Copa America wins today (15 titles), they haven’t won the Copa America since 1993. Obviously, by not winning in 22 years, that means Lionel Messi is going for his first Copa America title. A win in the Copa America means that one of the greatest players in the world will finally have a title while playing for his country.
Here we go, who is going to win the 2015 Copa America? On one hand, Chile is the host and will have a full stadium of Chilean fans.
For Argentina, they won’t have the home crowd but they will have the talent. But will the pressure of not winning for 22 years do the team, and Lionel Messi in?
I am going to go for a 2-1 Argentina win in extra time. Carlos Tevez gets a brace while Alexis Sanchez gets the goal for Chile and Argentina leaves with the title.