Chile and Peru meet in the 2nd semi-final of this year’s Copa America championships, kicking off on Wednesday night at 9:30pm local time in Porto Alegre, meaning a 1:30am start for viewers in the UK in the early hours of Thursday morning. Chile are two-time defending champions and look set to book themselves in a 3rd consecutive final, whilst Peru are aiming to reach their first final in 44 years.
It may have been rather foolish to rule out this Chilean side who have deservedly won this Copa America tournament in the last two instalments, but most bookmakers had them at least 4th or 5th favourites going into the tournament. Alexis Sanchez, who has been arguably Chile’s greatest ever player, came into this tournament out-of-form, and unfit, and other huge players for this nation are possibly past their best. However, Chile have been ruthless from match day one, as they progressed after two matches with wins over Japan and Ecuador.
A narrow defeat to Uruguay on match day three set them up for a tricky tie against Colombia in the quarter finals. However, Chile were the superior team on that occasion, but the deadlock couldn’t be broken in the first 90 minutes so it went to penalties. Chile won this trophy in 2015 and 2016 by via a penalty shoot-out, so it came to no one’s surprise that they converted all five penalties and knocked Colombia out to secure them a place in the semi-finals. They are just 180 minutes away from becoming the 2nd team ever to win three Copa America’s in a row. Will this Chile team make history?[geot exclude_country="US" ][/geot]
The beauty of the Copa America is that it’s possible you can only win one game out of four in 90 minutes, lose one game 5-0, and yet still reach the semi-finals of the tournament. Peru, who can boast a spirited and talented squad, were expecting to at least reach the quarter finals, but have now surpassed their expectations as they are fighting for their first Copa America final since 1975. Their sole win in the group against minnows Bolivia, coupled with a draw with Venezuela earned them a place in the quarter finals, where they were up against one of the favourites, Uruguay.
After a defensively brilliant display in the 90 minutes, and being a tad fortunate with a goal decision that went their way – they managed to take Uruguay to penalties, despite not having a shot on target all game. Luis Suarez of Uruguay was the only player to miss a penalty, as Edison Flores scored the final penalty to take Peru through to the semi-finals.
Head to Head
Chile are the dominant side in this fixture with 45 wins compared to Peru who have won only 22. In the last 14 meetings, dating back to 2006, Chile have won 12, with Peru only winning on two occasions. However, the positive news for them is that one of those successes was the last time they met, in a friendly in October last year. Their only competitive victory over Chile in the last 15 years was in 2013, in a World Cup qualifier.
In recent Copa America meetings, they have only faced each other twice this side of the millennium, with Chile winning 1-0 in the group stage in 2011. Following that, Chile then beat Peru in the semi-finals in 2015, hosted in Chile, by a 2-1 score line, as the Chileans went on to lift the trophy. Peru haven’t beaten Chile outside of Peru since 1993.[geot exclude_country="US" ][/geot]
Predictions and Betting Tips
Chile are favourites to win at 10/11, with Peru priced at 18/5. For the sides to draw, therefore taking this game to penalties (no extra time at this stage), is at 21/10. To qualify outright, Chile are at 2/5, with Peru at 7/4. Both of these teams were involved in a 0-0 quarter final, followed by penalty shoot-out success, but I don’t see this game panning out that way. There have been some shocks along the way, but I don’t see one occurring here, and will back Chile to knock out Peru in normal time, with my predicted score line to be 2-0 (6/1).
For the goal scorers in the game, I’d back Alexis Sanchez and Eduardo Vargas of Chile to both score at some point, at 9/1. Peru will hold Chile for some time in the game, so I expect a HT/FT bet of Draw/Chile at 10/3. In my opinion, the first goal of the game is likely to come between minutes 61-70, which is priced at 12/1.
Finally, for the tipsters, you will be rewarded by backing Peru to shock a favourite again, so do consider backing them to win to nil at 6/1, or winning via penalties at 9/1.[geot country="US,CA" ]
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