Chile inched closer to their first ever Copa America title thanks to a superb brace from Eduardo Vargas.
A game that was not short of cherishable moments saw Peru's Carlos Zambrano shown a red card in minute 20, Vargas's goal late in the first half, Gary Medel's own goal in minute 60, Vargas with a peach of a goal in minute 64, and of course some questionable decisions made by referee Argote.
Both sides started off well exchanging some exquisite passes, but the complexion of the match changed with the dismissal of Carlos Zambrano for a knee in the back of Charles Aranguiz, in what appeared to be an accident in minute 20. The game might have been different if Vidal was punished earlier in a scuffle with Zambrano.
JOIN THE DEBATE
Will Chile beat Argentina in the Copa America final? Join the debate by becoming a GMS writer HERE: https://gms.to/haveyoursay1
Once Chile had the extra man, they immediately started to get on the front foot. Much of that came from the movement and vision of the little magician Jorge Valdivia.
The attacker consistently found space just outside the box, turned to play along with his offensive team-mates and created gaps to find shooting chances himself. He almost scored, and at 0-0 and was the big catalyst to Chile's improvement in the first half. He received a massive ovation from the home supporters as he went off, subbed late on in the contest.
Peru, though down to ten players early in the first half, pressed forward mainly through their talisman from Shalke 04 Farfan who hit the post in one of his few efforts signaling his intent.
The hitman from Napoli was spot on in minute 42 to register his fourth goal of the tournament. The goal came from a comedy of errors from the officials and the Peruvian defenders that opened up a chance for Vargas to score an easy chance. After scuffing his initial shot, he then rolled the ball into an empty net leaving the Peru's goalkeeper Pedro Gallese sprawled out on his derrière.
After going behind late in the first half they however, restored parity between themselves and the host on the hour mark, when former Cardiff midfielder Medel stretched to cut out an excellent cross from right-back Luis Advincula who was sent through by a defence splitting pass from Guerrero, but Medel could only turn the ball pass his own goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.
Despite Peru's spirited effort their numerical disadvantage played in the hands of the Chileans who camped out in Peru's half for majority of the game.
Vargas scores screamer
Vargas' second goal of the game, and number five of the tournament, from 30 yards was a scorching screamer, which sent the Chilean fans into frenzy. So good was the strike that one commentator described it as "magisterial...pure class on the grass" after the 25-year-old thumped the ball over Gallese into the top corner from outside the box in the 64th minute, putting the home side back in front four minutes after Gary Medel's own goal had drawn Peru level.
Chile has firmly placed one hand on the coveted Copa America trophy, hoping to join the likes of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Peru as host nation who have won the title on home soil. There was nothing easy about getting to the final on Saturday against former champions Argentina or Paraguay, as Peru defended stoutly and fought gallantly, which gave the host a bit of scare.
Chile, who has never won the Copa América in its 99-year existence, will play the winners of Tuesday’s semi-final between Argentina and Paraguay. That will be a mouth watering affair.
No matter the style or the method of reaching the final, Chile's own Copa America has to be seen as a success after they had reached the final.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://gms.to/writeforgms