Chile are looking to pull off the improbable and win their third straight Copa America title. La Roja won the 2015 Copa America and the Copa America Centenario in 2016, but they were considered longshots to make it three straight cups before the start of this year’s edition. Now, a win over Peru will put them back in the final. Whichever team wins the second semifinal on Wednesday will certainly be an underdog against either Brazil or Argentina in the final on Sunday though.
Date and Time: July 3, 2019, 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: Arena do Gremio, Porto Alegre, Brazil
US Television Coverage: Telemundo
Betting Line: Chile -0.5, O/U 2
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This has been a solid decade for soccer in Peru. The Incas finished in third place at both the 2011 and 2015 Copa Americas, and they won their first World Cup match in 40 years last year. They would love to close out the decade with their first Copa America title since 1975, but they are certainly the longshots.
Peru finished in third place in its group after a win over Bolivia, a 0-0 draw against Venezuela, and a 5-0 shellacking at the hands of host Brazil. That pitted them against undefeated Uruguay in the quarterfinals on Saturday, where they overcame long odds to win.
It wasn’t a pretty match. While the possession between the two teams was even, Peru played a long ball and stall game with Paulo Guerrero and didn’t register a single shot on goal in 120 minutes. The game went into penalties, and from there, Peru was perfect. None of their shooters missed a penalty, sending Peru through thanks to a Luis Suarez penalty miss.
Chile fared much better during the Group Stage. The Chileans hammered Japan 4-0 in their opener, and they bested Ecuador 2-1 in the next match to ensure a spot in the knockout round. They could have won the group with a result against Uruguay, but an Edinson Cavani goal in the 82nd minute led to a loss and Chile subsequently finished second in the group.
That loss pitted Chile against the team that had looked the strongest in Copa America to that point. Colombia were the only team to win all three of its matches in the Group Stage, yet Chile looked like the better squad throughout their match. Like two other quarterfinals, the game finished 0-0 after 120 minutes and went to penalties. Neither side missed until the last round when Colombia’s William Tesillo didn’t convert, leaving Alexis Sanchez to win it for Chile.
Chile Player to Watch
Arturo Vidal has been one of the key components for Chile throughout their Copa America success, and he has brought his trademark intensity to La Roja. Vidal is one of the game’s best defensive midfielders, and he did an excellent job of mucking things up against Colombia. He was a constant nuisance in the middle of the field, making life difficult for Colombia, and he tallied a brilliant goal in that game before it was called back by VAR.
Peru Player to Watch
For Peru to advance to the final, midfielder Christian Cueva will have to do an excellent job of creating and distributing in the midfield. The Incas have two solid finishers up top in Guerrero and Jefferson Farfan, and it’s up to Cueva to get them the ball in dangerous positions. Cueva has a lot of quickness, so he has the potential to disrupt an older Chilean squad.
Chile vs. Peru Free Picks
This is a tough one. Chile have ratcheted up the intensity, but there is something about this Peru team I can’t put my finger on. I don’t think they are the longshot many believe them to be, so I’m calling for the upset here.
Chile vs. Peru Prediction: Peru 1, Chile 0
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