The heartache for Argentina continued as the Albiceleste were condemned to their third straight loss in the final in the last three years after losing 2 – 4 to Chile on post match penalties in the Copa America final staged in New Jersey on Monday 27 June, the teams having played to a barren draw in regular and extra time.
The two sides met in the opening game of Group D and it was Argentina who carried the day that time and their meeting at the final was little surprise as they have so far been the strongest teams at the competition.
While Argentina had a powerful surge through to the final, Chile grew as the tournament continued, with their highlight being the 7 – 0 whacking of Mexico at the quarter final stage.
In the final however, the script was different as the teams failed to get a goal in regular time for the first time in the tournament.
Argentina forward Gonzalo Higuain was particularly the biggest culprit with a big miss on the 21st minute after picking the ball in the middle of the pitch and racing through but hitting wide as Chile keeper Raul Bravo came out to narrow the angles.
Seven minutes after the scare, Chile were reduced to ten men after Marcelo Diaz for the second time in like ten minutes had obstructed Lionel Messi to receive bookings on both occasions.
There was another tense moment on 37 minutes when Ever Banega and Jose Fuenzalida clashed in a 50 – 50 challenge; a confrontation ensued and Javier Mascherano of Argentin and Arturo Vidal of Chile both received yellow cards.
That was not the last of the confrontation and two minutes to the break a harsh challenge on Vidal saw Marcos Rojo sent off.
At 10 v 10 it was all a balanced affair even though with pockets of threats from both sides but the teams held on for a barren draw in regular time and the 30 minutes of extra time.
Off to the shootouts and Vidal was the first to take his place against Sergio Romero and Romero came out tops, saving the Bayern Munich man’s penalty.
Argentina sent Messi over to face his club keeper but he shot his kick high.
Bravo needed just one more save, stopping Biglia and with that stopped Argentina from winning their first major title in 23 years.
While Mascherano and Sergio Aguero scored their kicks, successful deliveries from Nicolas Castillo, Charles Aranguiz, Jean Beausejour and Francisco Silva won it for Chile for the second straight year over Argentina.