After a nervy extra-time period, the contest was decided by a shoot-out, and it was Higuain again who contributed to Argentina’s downfall. Goalkeeper Cla…
Sánchez scores against Argentina during the penalty shootout of the 2015 Copa América football championship final, in Santiago, Chile, on July 4, 2015.
SANTIAGO, Chile – The wait is finally over for Chile.
The result extends Argentina’s and Lionel Messi’s title drought.
Messi was the only Argentine to convert his kick, but Chile was successful with all its four, the clinching effort from Alexis Sanchez sparking wild scenes of celebration in the Estadio Nacional.
“The Chilean people needed this triumph, needed something so lovely as being crowned America’s champion”.
“This is really a great generation we deserve this”.
Chile hadn’t made it to a final in 28 years, when it lost to Uruguay in the Copa America in Argentina.
Chile had their fair share of chances through Arturo Vidal, Alexis and Vargas.
“We won’t have home advantage, we’ll be playing at altitude sometimes and we’ll be going to some tough places”.
Argentina’s disappointment comes less than a year since the 1-0 loss to Germany in the World Cup final.
The midfielder said Chile had been determined to win the Copa America after exiting the World Cup a year ago on penalties.
It also has the momentum: if the Copa America team of the tournament were to be handed out today, it would mostly contain Chilean players.
As ever, all eyes will be on Barcelona’s star man, Messi, who less than a month ago completed his second treble-winning campaign in ten seasons with the Catalan club.
There was a lively start to the game with both teams trying to push high up the pitch and Angel di Maria had the first chance of note as he fired over the bar. While Tata Martino side created their early chances came from counters, Chile’s slowing down in pace meant that they went in late on tackles at times gathering three cautions to Silva, Marcelo Diaz and Gary Medel, whose particularly poor kick to Leo Messi’s midriff was lucky not to be punished with worse.
In extra-time Sanchez nearly punished a rare slip by Javier Mascherano but shot over the bar.
Maradona is largely credited with single-handedly guiding Argentina to that World Cup title in Mexico, scoring a series of memorable individual goals against England and Belgium along the way.
Sanchez put the finishing touch on the historic victory with a soft strike that slowly bounded into the left half of the goal after Romero had dived to the other side.