Chile 0-0 (4-1 PKs) Argentina: Chile’s first Copa America title in 99-year history (video)

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Chile’s wait for a Copa America title has ended at 99 years, after La Roja defeated Argentina 4-1 on penalty kicks (0-0 after regular and extra time) in the final of the 2015 Copa America. To boot, Chile’s first-ever South American title was secured at their national stadium in the capital city of Santiago.

[ MORE: All of PST’s Copa America coverage ]

The first clear scoring chance of the game came off the head of Sergio Aguero, who flicked Lionel Messi’s right-sided free kick toward the far post, only to see the header saved by Claudio Bravo from very close range.

Manchester United winger Angel Di Maria was forced to leave the game after just 29 minutes, thanks to an apparent hamstring injury. Di Maria, who due to a thigh injury missed Argentina’s semifinal and final fixtures at last summer’s World Cup, pulled up lame after making a lengthy counter-attacking run.

Chile’s temperamental midfield destroyer Gary Medel should have been sent off in the 34th minute, when his high, intentional boot to the midsection of Messi missed the ball completely and dropped the Argentine superstar to the ground. It was a cynical kick to the gut from behind, but was punished with only a yellow card.

With barely 15 seconds left to be played in second-half stoppage time, Argentina came inches from victory, when Messi and Ezequiel Lavezzi combined on a counter attack down the left flank, but the Paris Saint-Germain attacker’s cross/shot bounced inches wide of the far post. A late arriving Gonzalo Higuain could do nothing but put the ball into the outside netting of Bravo’s goal, sending the final to extra time, tied at 0-0.

With the game still scoreless after 30 minutes of extra time, and little more than half-chances and cases of cramps to show for it, the sides were set for a penalty shootout to determine four years’ worth of South American bragging rights.

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Matias Fernandez put Chile’s first penalty into his left-hand upper-90, which was followed by Messi slotting Argentina’s first spot kick into the bottom right corner. 1-1. Arturo Vidal hit Chile’s second penalty low and to the left, and thought Sergio Romero got a hand to it, the ball still found the back of the net. Higuain blasted Argentina’s second spot kick well over the bar. 2-1, Chile.

Charles Aranguiz hit his off Romero as well, but like Vidal, his powerful shot found the bottom corner and the back of the net. Ever Banega’s ensuing spot kick for Argentina, weakly hit roller, was easily saved by Bravo. 3-1, Chile. In grand fashion, Alexis Sanchez dinked Chile’s fourth penalty over the line from 12 yards out, giving Chile a 4-1 victory in the penalty shootout and their first South American title in 99 years.