Peru Stun Champions Chile To Reach Copa Final
Peru stunned defending champions Chile 3-0 to reach the final of the Copa America for the first time in 44 years on Wednesday.
Goals from Edison Flores, Yoshimar Yotun and Paolo Guerrero handed Peru a deserved win which sends them into a final against Brazil at the Maracana Stadium on Sunday.
The stunning upset prevented Chile’s golden generation from challenging for a third straight title, following their wins over Argentina in 2015 and 2016.
Instead the finalists from the previous two editions will meet in Saturday’s third-place play-off in Sao Paulo.
Little was expected of Peru in the knock-out stages after they ended the group phase with a humbling 5-0 thrashing by Brazil.
But after riding their luck – and being saved by VAR three times – to beat Uruguay on penalties in the quarterfinal, they were a completely rejuvenated outfit in Porto Alegre.
“The team has gone back to its essence, passing the ball and running hard,” said goalscorer Yotun.
A 2-0 halftime lead was the least Peru deserved after an enterprising performance against tentative opponents.
Chile were a lick of paint away from getting back into the match on 51 minutes when Eduardo Vargas’s flicked header beat Gallese, but agonisingly came back off the post.
Peru should have put the game to bed on a rapier counter-attack on the hour but Guerrero and Cueva passed rather than shooting and Yotun ballooned over from six yards with the goal gaping.
Peru started sitting deeper, inviting Chile to attack and Aranguiz sent a rasping shot whistling past the top corner with Gallese a mere spectator.
Gallese then tipped over a looping volley from Beausejour and 15 minutes from time he stayed big to block a one-on-one shot from Vargas.
He was unbeatable and dived low to his right to palm out a venemous Sanchez effort from 20 yards.
Guerrero put the icing on the cake in injury time after rounding Arias, but Gallese had the last word from the penalty spot.