Copa America Centenario Final : Red hot Chile take on an injury stricken Argentina
A year on; not much has changed in the Copa America landscape. Chile and Argentina meet again to decide who gets the bragging right in the American Continent(s). Like last year, we can expect this one to be a close affair as well.
ROAD TO THE FINAL
With both these teams drawn in the same group, the opening match for them was quite a close affair. In the absence of Leo Messi, an Angel di Maria inspired Argentina side grabbed a 2-1 victory over La Roja(“The Red One”). From then on, it’s been a plain sailing for both of these teams. Argentina have scored 18 goals in their 5 matches, a testament to their abundant attacking resources. Chile on the other hand, have also been free scoring with thumping wins over Panama and Mexico.
Chile’s quest for their second consecutive Copa title may have received a boost as their rivals are facing a major injury crisis. La Albiceleste’s hero in last year’s final, Angel di Maria is almost certain to miss this year’s final due to an adductor problem. This, in addition to the already existing injuries to Ezequiel Lavezzi, Augusto Fernandez and Marcos Rojo has given Tata Martino a major selection headache before the final. Juan Antonio Pizzi on the other hand have almost a fully fit Chile squad to choose from.
CHILE : Chile will need to bank on their in-form superstars to successfully defend their title. Eduardo Vargas will hold the key to unlock Argentina’s injury-stricken defense. He has been quite prolific this tournament, scoring 6 goals in just 5 matches. Defensively, though, the absence of Jean Beausejour might be felt; he misses out through suspension.
ARGENTINA : Lionel Messi would be hoping to win his first title with his national team and would be itching to get that monkey off his back. He seems to have struck form at the right time though and would thoroughly like to put the demons of last year’s final behind him. Gonzalo Higuain has been in sweet form too, scoring 4 goals in the tournament.
The stage is all set for Lionel Messi and his Argentina side to win their 15th Copa title, and go on par with Uruguay as the most successful side in this tournament. But Chile, as they proved in last year’s final will be no pushover, and do possess the attacking ability to unlock the makeshift Argentine defense. All in all, we are in for one brilliant Copa America Centenario Final.