Chile all but confirmed its place in the quarter finals of the Copa América after drawing 1-1 against Uruguay in an entertaining match in Mendoza last night.
With both Matias Fernández and Jorge Valdivia both considered unfit to start, playmaking duties in the centre of the park were handed to Luis Jiménez in Claudio Borghi’s only change following their 2-1 win over Mexico. In an entertaining first half both teams had their chances to open the scoring with Luis Suárez blasting over the bar from close range midway through the half whilst at the other end an Alexis Sánchez blocked clearance hit the underside of the crossbar.
Despite again dominating possession, the Chileans again found themselves a goal down early in the second after a defensive mix up left Álvaro Pereira unmarked near the penalty spot to slot home past Claudio Bravo completely against the run of play. Not one to rest on his laurels, Borghi brought on Jorge Valdivia for defender Gonzalo Jara only minutes later as he switched from a back three to a back four. Four minutes he had his reward as Valdivia slipped through a defense splitting pass to Jean Beauseajour who then seat up Chile’s man of the match, Alexis Sánchez for the equaliser.
Whilst Sánchez will get most of the plaudits, Valdivia’s performance in the last half hour was one of his best for la roja in recent times as he continually tormented his Uruguayan opponents drawing numerous free kicks in dangerous positions. Unfortunately for Chile, they failed to capitalise on them with the dead ball skills of Matias Fernández being sorely missed.
In the group’s other game Peru defeated Mexico 1-0 to leave Chile on top of the group with four points, ahead of Peru who are also on four points on goals scored with Uruguay third on two points and Mexico bring up the rear having yet failed to secure a point.
Uruguay 1-1 Chile