Isla’s late strike leads Chile to 1-0 win in nasty, card-filled match with Uruguay

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A predictably slap-filled chippy match between Chile and Uruguay spent the first 45 minutes deciding who would play the second 45 with a yellow card.

A late first-half injury saw Arturo Vidal’s knee bend the wrong way in a moment that had to scare fans of both the Copa America host nation and UEFA Champions League finalist Juventus.

The Chileans frittered away a number of good-looking chances, while Uruguay was left seeking out a goal-scoring opportunity for most of the first frame.

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Edinson Cavani received a second yellow after slapping Gonzalo Jara in the face in the 63rd minute — retaliating to an uncalled slap and rear-end intrusion from Jara — and had to be restrained before departing the match. Uruguay would have to find a winner down a man, or defend for a half hour to get to kicks.

And Chile did not let it get to kicks. Playing with the man advantage, Jorge Valdivia collected a parried cross just outside the 18, laying it off to Isla. The Juventus man ripped a shot from a standing position past Fernando Muslera to give Chile an 82nd minute advantage that would last.

The equivalent of a bench-clearing argument occurred in the 88th minute, and it would not end. There was plenty of contact between Uruguayan players and the referees, and Jorge Fucile saw red to bring them down to nine.

Chile will face the winner of Bolivia and Peru on Monday in Santiago.