Chile retain Copa on penalties against Argentina
Chile made it back-to-back Copa America titles after seeing off South American rivals Argentina 4-2 in a penalty shootout in Sunday’s ill-tempered final.
Both Argentina and Chile were reduced to 10 men in a fiery first half in a rematch of last year’s decider, as Marcos Rojo and Marcelo Diaz saw red, and neither team could break the deadlock after 120 minutes of play in front of more than 82,000 fans at MetLife Stadium.
And for the second successive year, a shootout was required to determine a winner, with Chile coming out on top again following spot-kicks as Argentina’s 23-year wait for a major trophy continued.
The 4-2 shoot-out loss marked a third consecutive defeat in a final for Argentina, beaten last year as well as the 2014 World Cup.
In a similar scene to the 2014 World Cup final, which Argentina lost to Germany in extra time after Gonzalo Higuain wasted a gilt-edged opportunity in the first half,
And just as Chile was left counting their blessings, things quickly turned sour for the title holders when Diaz was sent off by referee Heber Lopes approaching the half-hour mark for a second bookable offense, having blocked Messi.
With tensions simmering however, Argentina’s numerical advantage was short-lived after Rojo was shown a straight red card in the 43rd minute for a tackle from behind on Vidal, sparking a melee.
Both Vidal and Messi missed the opening penalties, but Chile emerged triumphant thanks to Nicolas Castillo, Charles Aranguiz, Beausejour and Silva, as Bravo’s save paved the way for victory.