Chile beats Colombia in shootout to reach Copa América semis

SAO PAULO (AP) — Chile stayed on track to defend its Copa América title by defeating Colombia 5-4 on penalties in the quarterfinals of the South American competition on Friday.

Alexis Sánchez scored the decisive penalty kick to send the two-time defending champions to the semifinals.

Chile will face either Uruguay or Peru, which meet Saturday in Salvador. Brazil and Argentina will play in the other semifinal.

Chile advanced despite having two goals reversed by video review, one in each half of a 0-0 draw in regulation time that forced the shootout.

Colombian defender William Tesillo missed wide in the second-to-last penalty, and Sánchez came in to seal Chile’s victory with a low shot into the corner.

Arturo Vidal, Eduardo Vargas, Erick Pulgar and Charles Aránguiz also scored for Chile in the shootout, while James Rodríguez, Edwin Cardona, Juan Cuadrado and Yerry Mina netted for Colombia.

Chile is trying to become the first nation to win three straight Copa titles since Argentina in the late 1940s.

Colombia, which was seeking its second straight semifinal appearance, was also eliminated by Chile in the last four of the 2016 Copa América. The Chileans got the best of Colombia the last four times the teams met in the tournament’s knockout stages.

It was an open match at the Arena Corinthians, but it was Chile that created the most significant scoring opportunities.

The titleholders thought they had opened the scoring with Aránguiz about 15 minutes into the match, but the goal was called off after video review determined Sánchez was offside in the build-up. In the 70th, Vidal’s goal with a shot from inside the area was reversed because the ball touched the arm of teammate Guillermo Maripán before reaching Vidal.

Goalkeeper David Ospina, returning to the Colombia lineup after traveling back home to visit his ill father, had already made two great consecutive saves earlier in the match to keep Chile from opening the scoring.

It was a tense match at times, and a brawl involving nearly all players erupted in the first half after Sánchez and Colombian defender Mina got into an altercation.

Colombia’s only Copa title came in a final against Mexico in 2001, though it had made it to the quarterfinals four straight times. This was Chile’s fifth straight last-eight appearance. It defeated Argentina in the last two finals, both times in penalty shootouts.

The match was delayed in 20 minutes because the Chilean squad was caught in heavy traffic in São Paulo and couldn’t arrive in time at the stadium.

Source: FOX Sport

Please follow and like us: