Chile strikes early and advances into Copa America final against Argentina

Chile had to wait for it a bit longer than they would have wished, but they managed to hold off Colombia to reach the Copa America final for the second consecutive year. Not only that, but they will face off against the same opponent that they did last year in Argentina on their way to Copa America glory.

Chile got off to a fantastic start as seven minutes was all it took for Charles Aránguiz to catch the Colombian defense napping as he managed to slip by them to score a pretty easy goal. Even Aránguiz couldn’t believe it as he looked back to the linesman to see if he was offside, but he was correctly positioned to give Chile the 1-0 lead.

Then, not four minutes later, Alexis Sánchez made a run to net from the left side and rang a shot off the post. However, that shot managed to slip under David Ospina and directly to Jose Fuenzalida and all he had to do was tap it in for the 2-0 lead in just the first 11 minutes of the game. It looked as if Chile was ready to put up seven again like they did against Mexico.

A bit of bad luck for Chile though as Pablo Hernández went down with what appeared to be a knee injury after falling down on a Colombian player, hitting his knee in an awkward fashion. After he tried to test it out, he couldn’t withstand the pain and eventually was subbed out.

The first half would end with no further scoring, and the match in general would see no further scoring as well. However, a thunderstorm ravaged though Soldier Field, which caused Copa America officials to advise people take cover and the players were kept in the locker room as well.

Pouring rain from the thunderstorm fell over Solider Field and it would take two whole hours for play to resume after the storm was done. They also had to squeegee the pitch, bring fans back to their seats and have the players warm up again before they could resume play.

Eventually, play did resume and Colombia hoped that their two-hour break would be enough to recover physically and mentally to try and mount a comeback. This was not to be for los Cafeteros as in the 57th minute Carlos Sánchez earned a yellow for a hard challenge, and it was his second yellow so he was red carded and will miss Colombia’s next game.

Down to 10 men, Colombia got off some good chances (most of them courtesy of James Rodríguez), but in the end could not rattle Claudio Bravo too much and were defeated 2-0. Chile seemed to be complacent with their two-goal lead and man advantage so they didn’t pursue the their goal as much, also they had to deal with a soggy pitch and most likely tried to avoid getting players from picking up injuries.

With Chile’s convincing victory, Colombia will now travel to the desert to face off in the third place game against the United States on Saturday, June 25th from the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Meanwhile Chile, the big victors of the day, will travel to East Rutherford, New Jersey as the rematch of the 2015 Copa America will take place in MetLife Stadium on Sunday, June 26th. It will be Alexis Sánchez’s high scoring Chilean team taking on Lionel Messi’s technical Argentine squad once again. Who will be the one raising the gorgeous, golden Copa America Centenario trophy come Sunday?

About Josh Espinal

I am a multimedia journalism graduate from the University of Texas at El Paso. Soccer is more than a passion for me, it's basically life. Follow me on twitter at @joshbruv and see me tweet about soccer in almost every language imaginable.