Copa America holders Chile reached the final of the Confederations Cup by virtue of their penalty shoot-out win over Portugal. Coming into the game, both teams were evenly placed with Portugal holding a minor edge due to the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo in addition to other creative players involving Bernardo Silva and Andre Silva.
The first-half was particular dull for the viewing but both Portugal and Chile missed clear-cut chances to move in front. Eduardo Vargas was offered a clear sight at goal via a pass from Alexis Sanchez but the Tigres striker hit his attempt straight at the incoming Rui Patricio.
Meanwhile, Andre Silva received a similar attempt on the other end after Ronaldo placed a sleek cross a minute later, but the Inter Milan man managed to fluff his effort into the hands of goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.
The second half began with Portugal trying to break the deadline, and they nearly decide off a deflected shot of Ronaldo, which went just wide off the left-hand post. Much was expected off Alexis Sanchez during the game, but he struggled to make a solid impact other than a header that took a similar route to Ronaldo’s attempt.
Moving into extra-time, the Chileans stepped up the gas to find the winner with Arturo Vidal ripping a shot just inside the box which deflected off the post to find Martin Rodriguez, whose left-footed attempt hit the crossbar before falling into the safe hands of Patricio.
Sanchez had the final attempt to clinch the match-winning goal, but he missed his target with the pressure of the moment bringing out his frustration. Both Portugal and Chile had recent success in the penalty shoot-outs, but there wasn’t much difference between the teams until Claudio Bravo stole the show.
The skipper saved all three penalties from Ricardo Quaresma, Joao Moutinho and Nani in the shoot-out, and this clinched Chile’s qualification to the final after Vidal, Charles Aranguiz and Sanchez converted their efforts.
Bravo has missed the first two games due to a calf injury, but the Manchester City shot-stopper showed his presence at the perfect occasion as he guided his team to their third international tournament final in three years.
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