Chile beats all odds in Copa America Finale with win over Argentina!!!

by Shea Baldwin

This summer weekend has been a great one for international futból. With the 3rd place game between Paraguay and Peru kicking off Friday night, Copa America final on Saturday and Women’s World Cup Finals on Sunday, it’s definitely a special time for the international competition. On Saturday afternoon, 3 p.m. CT, in Santiago Chile, Argentina and host country Chile faced each other in the pivotal Copa America Final.

The atmosphere before kick-off was extraordinary, each of the home fans waved their national flags they’d been given as they came into the stadium. Beyond the stands, visible through the haze of dust and pollution for the first time in the tournament, loomed the rocky frame of the Andes Mountains, an appropriate setting for the biggest game in Chile’s history.

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It would take a heart of stone to not feel happy for Chile since they battled and hung with Argentina throughout the entire match. It wasn’t a class match, but it was extremely close fought, and Chile showed real desire and spirit to pull off the upset against one of the best futbol teams in the world. The game stayed even all through regulation time which eventually led to penalty kicks.

Chile taking out Peru in the Semi-Finals led them to their first final appearance in 28 years. Their relentless attitude and hunger for the ball has pushed them through tougher opponents in this tournament, plus it doesn’t hurt to have home-field advantage. Argentina, filled with superstars such as Lionel Messi, Di Maria, Tevez, Aguero and others, came into the match with a little more confidence after dominating Paraguay, 6-1 in the Semi-Finals.

The hometown fans got carried away during the match with Lionel Messi’s family being forced to move into a television cabin because of verbal abuse and objects being thrown at them in the stands. This created much hostility between the fans and the players creating an ultimate final match-up that only some are lucky to witness.

Argentina had two big chances through Lavezzi and Aguero, but Chile did the business in the shootout.

It came down to Alexis Sánchez against Serio Romero from 12 yards out. The Arsenal forward attempted his shot and scuffed it badly, somehow he scored anyways as the goalkeeper dived to his left. Misses from Gonzalo Higuain and Ever Banega in the shootout proved to be a huge pivotal moment.

For Argentina, it’s been 22 years since their last trophy and an increasing sense that this gifted generation of players Argentina has will remain unfulfilled. It indeed was an incredible finish between the two nations, 4-1 (penalty kicks). A game that will go down in history as one of the most dramatic finishes for a deserving country like Chile. David took on Goliath in this Copa America 2015 final, and David won. A great Copa America tournament to say the least, hopefully the tradition continues into next summer and historically claims it’s spot as one of the most exciting and competitive international futbol tournaments in the world.

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Photo: Reuters, Associated Press.

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