The last time Argentina won the Copa America was in 1993. It has been 22 years since then. After last year’s heartbreaking defeat in the world cup finals, the Argentine footballers transformed their depression into determination and were adamant in their plan to dominate Copa America 2015. And frankly, until yesterday they were doing a fairly good job. But like always, Argentina’s dream to snatch away the title of continental champion of South America was brutally crushed by Chile.
Yesterday in Copa America 2015 final, Chile defeated Argentina by 4-1 in a penalty shootout and won the championship for the first time in the country’s history.
From the very beginning of the match, both parties were pressing the other and creating chances. Lionel Messi tried to score a goal through Sergio Aguero in the very first minute, but the Manchester City striker could not touch the ball.
Chile struck in the 11th minute through Vidal and Sanchez, but Argentine defence was strong enough to prevent them from scoring a goal and the ball was warded off by Argentina’s Sergio Romero.
After that, Both Sergio Aguero and Eduardo Vargas tried to break down opposition’s barriers but none were successful.
In the 28th minute, Angel Di Maria was substituted by Ezequielo Lavezzi after he was injured following a long run through midfield.
In the 33rd minute Gary Medel was given a yellow card when he tried to do a high volley, hitting Messi in the stomach in the process. Luckily, the blow wasn’t severe enough to force Messi out of the match.
Chile attacked again in the closing minute of the first half, but the attacks were well defended by Argentina. After the first half was over, the match was tied 0-0.
The second half wasn’t as exciting as the first half as both teams struggled to create chances of scoring. Vidal had a chance in the 66th minute but the attempt was blocked. In the 82nd minute, Sanchez tried to attack again but failed.
A bit later, Messi played Lavezzi through and Argentina finally scored a goal. However, the goal was ruled as offside and got cancelled. For Argentina, It was World cup 2014 all over again.
Argentina attacked the Chilean defence again at the last moment, but Lavezzi’s cross was just out of reach of Gonzalo Higuain and the game proceeded on to extra time.
The extra 30 minutes weren’t enough for either of the teams as both teams struggled to score, but none succeeded; and the game was forced into a penalty shootout.
The penalty shootout was devastating for Argentina. Gonzalo Higuain, being his usual self, missed for Argentina and Ever Banega’s penalty was blocked by Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo. Lionel Messi was the only Argentina player who managed not to mess up the shootout.
On the other hand, Matias Fernandez, Arturo Vidal and Charles Aranguiz all scored for Chile before Alexis Sanchez pushed in the winner and led Chile to their first ever win against Argentina in a major tournament.
The Copa America 2015 final was definitely exciting and eventful. Too bad Argentina just could not shake off the cloud of misfortune that has been following them around lately. But we do hope that someday we will watch Argentina rule. And we do hope that we will get to see that before this century ends.