Chile and the brave Peru will play the last step to reach the final of CONMEBOL Copa América Brasil 2019, one more story that will feed the Classic of the Pacific.
The battle of styles will take place at the Arena do Gremio in Porto Alegre (south) from 21:30 local time, with the antecedent of a 3-0 victory for the Incas last October in Miami in a match dated by FIFA.
Both reached the semi-finals on penalties in the quarter-finals: Chile defeated Colombia 5-4 after a 0-0 draw in the 90 minutes of a game they dominated and in which they were knocked out by two goals at the instance of VAR.
Peru, with the same scoreline, beat Uruguay, which was literally on the ropes, but failed to make the knockout in regulation time despite scoring on three occasions, all invalidated for offside.
Wednesday will be the twenty-first match between the two teams in the history of the CONMEBOL Copa America (8 wins for “La Roja”, six for the “Rimac’s” and six draws) and the 81st in the history of the Pacific Classic, in which Chile has 44 wins against 22 for the Incas.
Surprisingly, a semi-final clash was the last face to face they had in a CONMEBOL Copa América. It happened in 2015, when host, Chile, won 2-1 and advanced to the final where they then beat Argentina on penalties to win their first title.
– The “Roja mecánica” –
The colombian Reinaldo Rueda is taking advantage of the ‘La Roja’. His selection took real face of candidate against Uruguay, despite losing 1-0 in the Maracaná. Chile fought against the Celeste in that match, but allowed itself a space and lost the match. Playing that match in the quarter-finals, he showed similar characteristics to La Roja, which won the CONMEBOL Copa América in 2015 and the following year in the United States. And against Colombia, by passing to the semifinals, he showed his hierarchy to dominate and advance.
– Peru on the rise –
Peru used character to damage Uruguay’s path in the quarter-finals, defending their goal with their heart and forcing the penalty shoot-out where luck was on their side.
“We’re in a position to take on this kind of game. I feel very identified with the team. Maybe then we’ll have one better game than another, but we’re able to play better” said ‘Tigre’ Ricardo Gareca, coach of the Incas.
The Argentinian will repeat against La Roja the same team that stopped against La Celeste, with its traditional scheme of 4-2-3-1.
“We’ve shown that this group has strength, blood and balls”, said ‘Depredador’ Paolo Guerrero, alluding to the criticism in his country.
Chile: Gabriel Arias – Mauricio Isla, Gary Medel, Guillermo Maripán, Jean Beausejour – Arturo Vidal, Erick Pulgar, Charles Aránguiz – José Fuenzalida, Eduardo Vargas, Alexis Sánchez.
Coach: Reinaldo Rueda.
Perú: Pedro Gallese – Luis Advíncula, Carlos Zambrano, Luis Abram, Miguel Trauco – Renato Tapia, Yoshimar Yotún – André Carrillo, Christian Cueva, Édison Flores – Paolo Guerrero.
Coach: Ricardo Gareca.
Referee: Wilmar Roldán (COL).