Four goals from Eduardo Vargas helped Chile defeat Mexico 7-0 as the defending champions finally looked to have found the form to retain their title from 2015. Alexis Sanchez and Edson Puch were also among the goals in the fourth quarter-final of the Copa America as Chile made the last four.
Starting Line-ups :
Mexico: Ochoa; Aguilar, Araújo, Moreno, Layún; Guardado, Dueñas, Héctor Herrera; Lozano, Chicharito, Corona
Chile: Bravo, Fuenzalida, Medel, Jara, Beausejour; Aránguiz, Diaz, Vidal; Puch, Sánchez, Vargas
In what seemed like an evenly matched contest, defending champions Chile were taking on a resurgent Mexico side who were looking at ‘home’ in the USA, with huge crowd support every time they played. Mexico were coming into the game on the back of a 22-game unbeaten streak and a 1-0 win over Chile in a warm-up game. Chile had been patchy all through the tournament, but a 4-2 victory over Panama should have given them much needed confidence.
Chile come to life
Chile started the game on a high gear, pressing hard and pinning the Mexican defence back. The forwards got the Mexican defenders to work hard and were hurtling at full tilt at them every time they got the ball. The result was immediate, and Edson Puch followed up on Ochoa’s save of a shot from Sanchez and smashed it into the net for the opening goal in the 16th minute. There was no let-up in pressure from Chile and they found plenty of chances to score anothergoal, unlocking the Mexican defence with sheer pressure. Arsenal man Alexis Sanchez look determined to score one and did find the goal in the 38th minute, only for it to be called offside. Key player Arturo Vidal was booked by the referee in the 39th minute, meaning he would miss the semi-final against Colombia. Another smooth move found Vargas in space on the edge of the six-yard box, and he calmly redirected the pass from the byline to hand Chile a two-goal advantage in the 44th minute.
Chile turn the screws
Carlos Pena and Raul Jimenez came on for Mexico in the second half, but it did nothing to help the Mexicans. Arturo Vidal displayed his play-making skills in the 49th minute, squaring it for Sanchez from the left of the box and helping Chile make it 3-0. Vargas made it 4-0 within a matter of minutes, sliding the ball under Ochoa to effectively close out the game. Chile suffered their second drawback from the game (Vidal’s suspension being the first), as Marcelo Diaz came off injured in the 56th minute. Vargas completed his hat-trick immediately, after the Mexican keeper could only parry Beausejour’s shot into his path on the edge of the six-yard box.
Chile do the final rites
Mexico had given up and made their last substitution in the 60th minute as Reyes came on for Corona, another defender onto the pitch. A short sequence of Mexican corners could do nothing, and Chile did not look like they would stop. Vargas added a fourth to his collection in the 74th minute, after his sliding attempt rebounded off a defender. He reacted first to it and shot the ball high into the net from a difficult angle. Puch completed his brace in the 88th minute, clipping the ball past Ochoa to make the score 7-0. Chile will now face Colombia in the last four on Thursday.
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