Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Chile back in Copa final to meet Argentina

Published:Friday | June 24, 2016 | 6:00 AM
Chile’s goalkeeper Claudio Bravo (right) celebrates with teammates during Wednesday’s Copa América Centenario semi-final match at Soldier Field in Chicago. Chile won 2-0.

CHICAGO (AP):

When Chile saw an opening, they pounced. When their defence broke down, Claudio Bravo was there. When the rain stopped, they finished the job.

Just another meticulous performance for Chile in Copa AmÈrica.

Charles Aranguiz and JosÈ Pedro Feunzalida scored in the first half, and defending champions Chile returned to the final of South America's championship with a soggy 2-0 victory over Colombia on Wednesday night.

"This is a winning team. They are winners. ... Before we play a tournament, they are convinced they are going to win," Chile coach Juan Antonio Pizzi said.

Led by Bravo's stellar effort in goal, Chile earned their fourth straight win since a 2-1 loss to top-ranked Argentina in their Group D opener. Next up is a rematch with La Albiceleste on Sunday night in New Jersey.

LAST COUNTRY

Chile also faced Lionel Messi and Argentina in last year's championship, with La Roja winning 4-1 in a penalty shoot-out after a 0-0 extra-time draw. Argentina were the last country to repeat as Copa champions in consecutive years, accomplishing the feat in 1946 and 1947.

"We must respect, as we always have, our rivals and compete and try to win," Pizzi said.

James Rodriguez and Colombia got off to a slow start, and their push for a comeback was hampered by a strong line of thunderstorms that delayed the start of the second half by more than two hours, drenching the playing surface and forcing the players to tread carefully for the last part of the night at Soldier Field.

Colombia, who will face the United States in the third-place game tomorrow night in Arizona, also had to play with 10 men after Carlos S·nchez received his second yellow card in the 57th minute.

Chile played without Arturo Vidal after the skilled midfielder was suspended for a second yellow card, and defensive midfielder Marcelo Diaz was sidelined by injury. The defending champions lost another midfielder in the first half when Pedro Pablo Hern·ndez departed with a knee injury following a collision near midfield.