Rematch: Chile return to Copa final with win over Colombia

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by JACK HAZZARD

With the Copa America semifinals coming to a close following Wednesday’s match between Chile and Colombia, the stage is set for the tournament’s epic conclusion.

It was Chile who came out on top against Colombia at Solider Field. The defending Copa America Champions routed Colombia 2-0, securing their place against Argentina in the Copa Centenario Finals.

The intense game began with a quick start from Chile, scoring a classy goal in the 7′ minute as Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado poorly headed the ball to goalkeeper David Ospina, which landed right at the feet of Chile’s Charles Aranguiz. Aranguiz placed the opportunity perfectly into the back of the net.

Following their quick goal, Chile continued to apply pressure. In the 11′ minute, a long kick from Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo found Arsenal star Alexis Sanches, who drove into the box and fired a shot off the post that deflected to Jose Pedro Fuenzalida. Upon receiving the deflection, the 31-year-old was gifted an easy pass in to give his side an comfortable 2-0 lead.

The rest of the half saw Chile control the game, constantly frustrating their opponent. Although Colombia displayed with aggression and energy, they were not able to chase down the ball as Chile calmly controlled the possession.

As the match approached half time, the referee called for a delay due to inclement weather. The break lasted for over two hours, resulting in a lackadaisical start to the second half. The rest of the game consisted of chippy fouls and poor soccer. Each side tried their best to deal with the flooding field, but both sides’ frustrations truly showed. In the 56′ minute, Colombia’s fate was sealed as midfielder Carlos Sanchez picked up a second yellow, concluding in a red. After going down to ten men, Colombia was physically and mentally defeated. Chile knew they had won the match and decided to possess to finish the match.

It will be a rematch of last year’s Copa America final between Chile and Argentina. The final will take place at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Sunday at 9:00 PM EST.

In addition, Colombia will take on the U.S. in the tournament’s third-place match that will occur on Saturday at Univeristy of Phoneix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona at 6:00 PM EST.