Passions are sure to run high as they did in Houston when security personnel caught a field intruder during the Copa America Centenario semifinal match between Chile and Colombia in Chicago, Illinois on June 22, 2016. (Photo credit: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)
By NAN Sports Editor
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. June 24, 2016: Chile and Argentine soccer fans everywhere are holding their collective breaths and saying a prayer that their respective teams each walk away with the Copa America 2016 Cup this Sunday June 26th in New Jersey.
Chile is back in the Copa America Final and ready to defend their tournament championship after Wednesday night’s 2-0 semi-final win against Colombia at rain-soaked Soldier Field in Chicago.
It will be the second time the two teams – Chile and Argentina – will clash in two summers. Chile defeated their South American rivals to the east on penalty kicks last year to win their first Copa America title but Argentina actually defeated Chile 2-1 in Group D play earlier this summer in the Copa America Centenario.
But its Argentina that is being dubbed the favorite to win after its blitz over the US led by the famous Lionel Messi, who has five goals and five assists in very limited action and is hoping to end Argentina’s third straight major finals loss.
Still Chile is bringing all it has to win AGAIN. The team will have a full day of rest and the return of Arturo Vidal from suspension, fully rested and eager to contribute, and that’s good news for La Roja. But the team will be without its midfielder Pablo Hernandez, who is out to a knee injury suffered early in the match vs. Colombia. They will no doubt be sweating the fitness of another central midfielder, Marcelo Diaz, who was forced to miss the semifinal.
Both teams have pressured their opponents into submission without hesitation throughout this competition, and whichever one can do it to a greater effect Sunday will be the one taking home the golden ball and bragging rights – at least for the next year.
Meanwhile, Colombia’s loss Wednesday night sends them to Glendale, Arizona on Saturday, June 25th, for the Third Place Match against the United States.