Chile hopes of winning a third successive Copa America are over after a heavy 3-0 defeat against an impressive Peru in Porto Alegre on Wednesday.
First-half goals from Edison Flores and Yoshimar Yotun, along with Paolo Guerrero’s late sealer, dashed La Roja’s dreams of equalling Argentina’s record of three consecutive continental triumphs and sent Peru through to their first final since 1975.
Though they only reached the knockout rounds as one of the group stage’s two best third-placed teams, Ricardo Gareca’s Peru were superior throughout and now face hosts Brazil in Sunday’s decider at the Maracana.
An entertaining start saw Christian Cueva and Charles Aranguiz poke wide with good opportunities at either end. Peru settled quickest and punished a disorganized Chile defense in the 20th minute. Andre Carrillo nodded on Cueva’s right-sided delivery and winger Flores made no mistake at the back post.
Gabriel Arias was at fault for the second 18 minutes later, the goalkeeper failing to beat Carrillo to a loose ball and leaving his goal exposed for Yotun to skilfully control and volley home a high cross. Peru lost Flores to an innocuous ankle injury five minutes into the second half and narrowly avoided another setback when Vargas’ glancing header struck the left post. A well-worked counter should have brought the sealer on the hour, but Yotun ballooned his finish over a gaping target.
Chile’s humiliation was complete when Eduardo Vargas dinked a penalty straight to Pedro Gallese at the death.
Gallese then produced three important stops to keep the two-goal margin intact and, after Guerrero coolly slotted away the third in the 91st minute, denied Chile a consolation. Luis Abram’s rash challenge on Aranguiz sent Vargas to the spot but the striker’s Panenka met goalkeeper Gallese’s outstretched arm.