Gonzalo Jara

Cavani to sit two games including World Cup qualifier for post-Jara red card

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It turns out that Edinson Cavani will miss just as many matches as Gonzalo Jara for the unsavory incident between the pair during the Copa America in Chile.

The Uruguayan was given a red card for slapping Jara after the Chilean appeared to intrude on Cavani’s rear end with his finger.

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Chile went on to win the match over 10-man Uruguay, and Jara was suspended for three games. That was later lowered to two for his role in the incident, and on Tuesday we learned that Cavani will miss a pair of matches.

That means Cavani will miss Uruguay’s first CONMEBOL qualifier for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Bolivia will benefit.

The resulting furor included comments for Jara’s club, Mainz, that they were open to selling him if there was an offer. Jara plans to return to Mainz. Chile, of course, went on to win Copa America.

Copa America Final preview: Argentina looks for first title since 1993 against hosts Chile

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With disappointment glazed over the last three Copa America finishes, Argentina has a glorious opportunity to win its first Copa America since 1993.

Those previous three tournaments have seen Argentina finish second to Brazil, second to Brazil, and a disastrous quarterfinals loss to eventual champions Uruguay last time out still burned in the memories of many fans who saw it first hand as the 2011 hosts. That can all be wiped away today.

Argentina must get by hosts Chile at 4:00 p.m. ET in Santiago in order to put themselves back on top. They come into the finals soaring off a 6-1 demolition of Paraguay that put all the scoring struggles of the earlier matches in the rear-view mirror. To that point, Argentina’s feared attack of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria, and Carlos Tevez had produced just four goals in four matches, but they exploded in the semifinal round to roar their way into the final.

This time, though, things look to be a little more difficult. Chile has been galvanized by its home fans, cheered on to a pair of tight, one-goal games here in the knockout rounds. Unlike Argentina, who have a powerful front core of superstars, Chile has bulldozed its way to the finals through a complete team effort. Right or wrong, Arturo Vidal put his drunk driving accident behind him to become a true team leader, while Alexis Sanchez brought his fantastic 2014/15 club form with him to South America.

[ MORE: Three key battles that will decide the Copa America winner ]

Chile have made the final round of the Copa America twice, but have failed to seal the deal both times. They fell to Paraguay in 1979 in a three-leg finals format, and again were bested in 1987 falling to Uruguay. Both times they failed to score a goal in the final match. A win today would be the country’s first-ever international trophy in 99 years of competition.

There’s plenty of turmoil within the host country’s big opportunity. Defender Pepe Rojas, the replacement for suspended Gonzalo Jara, was the butt of jokes in the local papers for a poor performance in the semifinal win over Peru. Plenty of players took to social media to support their teammate, and newspaper Las Ultimas Noticias was forced to apologize for mocking its own country’s player.

Argentina is the clear favorite, but there will be much pressure on Chile to make history in front of their home fans. The weight of an entire country’s hopes and expectations can serve to push a team forward, or it can crush them. With this Copa America coming to a close, one side will breathe the sigh of relief that comes with ending a drought, while the other’s quest for a trophy will continue on.

FOLLOW LIVE — 2015 Copa America: Hosts Chile vs. Peru in semifinal no. 1

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If you can believe it, there’s just four games still to be played at the 2015 Copa America. On Monday night, the host nation, Chile, and Peru are set to do battle in semifinal no. 1 for a place in Saturday’s final, where they’ll face either Argentina or Paraguay for four years’ worth of South American bragging rights.

[ PREVIEW: Chile vs. Peru in SF no. 1 ]

Chile advanced to the semifinals with a 1-0 victory over Uruguay, though you’ll probably remember that quarterfinal matchup for this moment of madness between Gonzalo Jara and Edinson Cavani. Jara has been suspended for three games, which means his tournament is done, though the same can’t be said of Arturo Vidal (three goals scored) who was arrested for DUI less than two weeks ago but returned to the starting lineup without missing a game. Mauricio Isla scored the winner against Uruguay, putting him level on goals scored with Gary Medel and Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez (one goal each).

Chile vs. Peru — 7:30 pm ET — FOLLOW LIVE

For Peru, it’s been the Paolo Guerrero Show throughout their unlikely run to the semifinals. The 31-year-old, who scored five goals in the 2011 Copa, bagged his second international hat trick in a 3-1 quarterfinal victory over Bolivia last week. Christian Cueva and 36-year-old Bayern Munich striker Claudio Pizarro have scored Peru’s two group stage goals as Los Incas advanced as runners-up in Group C.

Click the above link to follow along with Monday’s first semifinal, and check back on PST following the game for a full recap and important highlights.

Preview: Copa America semifinals — Can Peru, Paraguay stop an Argentina-Chile final?

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Many if not all neutral fans expect Argentina and Chile to make it through their Copa America semifinals en route to a border battle final in Santiago on July 4.

Peru and Paraguay are hoping the next 48 hours dash those expectations to their very core.

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Between the two, only Peru has lost in the Copa America. That was in its tournament opener against Brazil. So despite the FIFA rankings, perhaps only one-sided officiating for the host country should have us thinking anything other than two even semifinals.

Chile vs. Peru — FOLLOW LIVE at 7:30 p.m. ET Monday

It’s been a relatively low-scoring tournament, at least from an individual standpoint, which allows Paolo Guerrero of Peru to pace the competition with a trio of goals in the 3-1 quarterfinal win over Bolivia.

He’ll go up against the only player to score as many, Chile’s Arturo Vidal, on Monday night in Santiago.

The two teams have met six times since 2011. They split home matches in 2014 World Cup qualifying, and Peru’s win was its only of the sextet.

By the way, shout out to Wikipedia for this summation of the Gonzalo Jara-Edinson Cavani rear end intrusion/face slap incident:


Argentina vs. Paraguay — FOLLOW LIVE at 7:30 p.m. ET Tuesday


Goals! There hasn’t been a clean sheet between these two nations since qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, and that’s the last time Paraguay beat La Albiceleste.

That said, the two sides drew 2-2 in group play, with Argentina building a 2-0 lead on goals by Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi before Nelson Valdez and Lucas Barrios tied the match with a pair of second-half goals.

Argentina will certainly be favored in the rematch, though Los Guaraníes have Brazil’s dismissal on their resume as well as a draw against Uruguay. Want a reason to pull for the underdog? Derlis Gonzalez’s uncle died while celebrating Paraguay’s win over Brazil.

2015 Copa America: Chile’s Gonzalo Jara banned three games for provoking Edinson Cavani

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CONMEBOL, the governing body of South American football, has suspended Chile defender Gonzalo Jara for three games and fined the Chilean FA $7,500 due to his actions in a 1-0 win over Uruguay in the Copa America quarterfinals.

A statement from the Chilean FA confirmed it had accepted Jara’s suspension, but urged CONMEBOL to utilize the same standards when a complaint against the conduct of several Uruguayan players is reviewed.

Jara reportedly provoked Uruguay forward Edinson Cavani by poking the PSG man in the lower back, which prompted him to raise his hands up and cause the Chilean’s theatrical fall to the ground.

Cavani was then given his second yellow card, turning into a red card that ejected him from the game.

[MORE: Recent Copa America news]

Shortly before the verdict came out, Chile head coach Jorge Sampaoli was critical of the way this case was handled.

“If we’re going to start lodging complaints that don’t have anything to do with the referee’s match report it’s going to get very complicated because we are going to have different analyses after every match,” he told a news conference.

“We’re going to have to be clear from now on that everyone will be judged in the same way, because if this is a precedent and leads to a suspension on the basis of a post-match complaint, everyone’s going to start doing it.”

Tomorrow, Chile will battle Peru in a Copa America semi-final, and will next either play in the final or third-place game depending on the upcoming result. Jara will not take part in any of these matches, out for the remainder of the tournament.

Mainz is now willing to sell Jara after expressing disgust at his involvement.