Copa America 2016: Chile beat Colombia 2-0 and book final with last year's opponents Argentina
Holders Chile are through to the finals of the Copa America 2016 as they beat Colombia 2-0 at the rain-soaked Soldier Field Stadium here in Chicago, Illinois. Goals from Charles Aranguiz and Jose Fuenzalida sealed Chile's participation in the finals of the tournament the second year running.
Colombia started the game brightly but Aranguiz's goal in the 7th minute drained them of the excitement and passion that seemed to fuel the team throughout the competition. Fuenzalida's goal – from a whopping Alexis Sanchez shot – seemed to lift Chile to perform at a higher level than was expected against an opposition like Colombia.
Carlos Bacca started on the bench but Colombia still had James Rodriguez and Juan Cuadrado on the field – players who could turn games on their own. But the ones who really dominated the games were the Chilean stars – especially Sanchez, Vargas and Aranguiz.
Two goals in the span of four minutes pretty much set up Chile for the first half and they would've preferred to have finished the game a lot earlier if not for the weather in Chicago. The half-time break stretched out for two hours and forty minutes as stadium officials opined that the safety of the players and the spectators was of the utmost importance and that there were chances of lightning strikes on the stadium.
Come the restart, Chile began brightly again and even got Colombia down to ten men as Carlos Sanchez was sent off for Colombia after a second yellow offense. That decision compiled with the fact that ground was a lot more slippery kept Colombia at bay and without a clear chance to really make an impact in the game.
Chile will now meet Argentina in the final of the tournament – the same as last year – and will look to defend their title from the likes of the resurgent Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain and more.
Colombia, meanwhile, will travel to meet the hosts USA for the third place game before the players all go on holiday – and some to get ready for the Rio Olympics – before the start of the domestic seasons come the second week of August.