It took 120 minutes and a penalty shoot-out, but Chile finally won the Copa America for the first time in the country’s history.
Alexis Sanchez hit the game-winning penalty to give Chile a 4-1 advantage, after Gonzalo Higuain missed badly for Argentina and his teammate Ever Banega’s penalty was saved by Claudio Bravo. Lionel Messi was the only Argentine to convert his penalty in the shoot-out.
Matias Fernandez, Arturo Vidal and Charles Aranguiz all netted for Chile before Sanchez’s winner.
The match started off at a frenetic pace with both teams pressing end to end and both creating chances. Argentina came close in the opening minutes when Messi played a ball through to Sergio Aguero in traffic, but the Manchester City striker couldn’t get a foot on the ball.
Chile’s Vidal was denied in the 11th minute on a volley following a cross from Sanchez, but the well-struck ball was parried away by Argentina’s Sergio Romero.
Sergio Aguero nearly redirected a Messi free kick from the right side of the penalty area into goal, but was denied at close range by Bravo.
Minutes later, Eduardo Vargas chased down a ball over the top of the Argentine defense, but his effort from 12 yards out sailed well over the top of the goal.
Angel Di Maria was subbed off in the 28th minute for Ezequiel Lavezzi after the Argentina No. 7 pulled up with an injury following a long run through midfield.
In the 33rd minute, Gary Medel was given a yellow card for a dangerous play when he attempted a high volley and kicked Messi in the stomach on the follow through. Messi went down, but was not forced to leave the match.
Two crosses into the box from free kicks for Chile in the first half’s closing minutes were well defended by Argentina.
In first half injury time, Sanchez’s attempt from close range was collected by Romero and Bravo denied Lavezzi on a well-hit shot and the teams went into the dressing room tied 0-0 at halftime.
The second half was less eventful than the first and chances became increasingly harder to come by for both teams. Vidal had a chance from close range from a well-played cross from Sanchez in the 66th minute.
In the 82nd minute, Sanchez took a Aranguiz pass out of the air and volleyed it first time from the corner of the six-yard box, but his shot sailed wide of the far left post.
Minutes later, Messi played Lavezzi through on a lovely ball that the Paris Saint-Germain player tapped into the net. However, Lavezzi was ruled offside and the game stayed level at 0-0.
The game was almost settled on a counterattack as injury time expired, but Lavezzi’s cross in front of the goal mouth was just out the reach of an onrushing Gonzalo Higuain and the match went to extra time.
Sanchez had a breakaway chance in extra time but his shot sailed over the crossbar and the game was forced to the penalty shoot-out. The win is Chile’s first against Argentina in any major competition in the two teams’ history.
ESPN – culled from : http://www.espnfc.com.ng/copa-america/match/424357/chile-argentina/report