“We should have won in 90 minutes, but ended up getting justice”. But that is soccer. “I didn’t see one play in the whole competition to suggest that Chile was not better than their rivals”.
Chile are anxious to shed their unwanted tag as the perennial almost men of South American football, ending decades of hurt by winning a first Copa America crown after almost a century of failure. But Martino believes Chile will come out and assault. Chile, having looked weighed down by the heavy expectation on their shoulders in the previous knockout rounds, began at an intensity in keeping with their famed style. But there was precious little of that attacking verve on display on Saturday, with Tata Martino’s team for the most part happy to diligently sit back and hope to prosper from counter-attacks and set-pieces.
For his team as a whole, tonight’s match is a chance to make up for last year’s World Cup final defeat by Germany and two consecutive Copa America final defeats at the hands of Brazil in 2004 and 2007. Every Argentine has their favourite, as much for what they’ve done as what they’ve won. “I would give everything to win the Copa America“, he added.
Charles Aranguiz made it 3-1 to the hosts and it remained that way as Ever Banega’s tame effort was palmed away by the diving Claudio Bravo. He will have a lot of help from Sergio Aguero, Angel Maria, and Gonzalo Higuain, but as Paraguay found out the hard way, Messi has the ability to run through an entire team with his ball control and dribbling skills. Since then, it has failed in seven Copa Americas and six World Cups, with Messi playing in five of those tournaments.
And asked if he will carry on as Chile coach, Sampaoli said: “I just want to enjoy this moment”.
When the tournament started, under the shadow of Brazil, Argentina and Colombia; Chile wasn’t one of the favorites to win it. They had potential and through their will and determination they have only proved that they deserved to be in the finals.
Messi freed Lavezzi in the box and he chose to cross to Higuain when he maybe should have shot and the striker could only find the side-netting.
Messi didn’t play well in the start of the Copa America but was improving match after match. It would be the making of Chile should they do so, while for Argentina it could bring about a new era, where they become the side top of world football and there to be shot at.
Two goals from Eduardo Vargas, either side of a Gary Medel own goal, were enough for Chile to book their place in the final with a 2-1 win against Peru and attempt to win the tournament for the first ever time.
Moreover, a good number among them have grown up together, winning Under-20 World Cups in 2005 and 2007, as well as the Olympics in 2008.