AN Eduardo Vargas brace pushed Chile within a game of their first Copa America title as the hosts eliminated 10-man Peru 2-1 in Monday’s first semifinal.
Chile, which hasn’t reached the final since 1987, will await the winner of Tuesday’s second semi between Argentina and Paraguay.
Again playing in Santiago, the home side received some good fortune early on.
Carlos Zambrano was sent off for a second yellow for a kick to the back of Chile midfielder Charles Aranguiz in the 20th minute — an incident which placed Peru at a distinct disadvantage.
Sure enough, Vargas gave the hosts an advantage not long after.
Alexis Sanchez’s crossed pinged back off the post and into the path of the winger, who tapped in from five yards out.
Peru pushed for a goal early in the second half and got their equaliser in the 60th minute through a Gary Medel own goal after a dangerous Luis Advincula cross from the right.
But the Peruvians’ euphoria would be short-lived, and Vargas had the home fans out of their seats just four minutes later with an audacious, dipping strike from 30 yards out to give Jorge Sampaoli’s men the lead for good. – ESPN FC