It was game in which the destroyers kicked, grappled and smothered the playmakers. Messi wasn’t given a yard of space as Chile stifled Argentina’s attack. In that regard Jorge Sampaoli’s game-plan worked perfectly. Apparently he’d studied hours of tapes of Barcelona in action to discover the key to stopping Messi. But through-out the tournament the Chileans have shown a strong will-to-win, which at times could even be described as dirty. Jara’s finger the perfect case in point. They out-fought Uruguay and stamped out Argentina’s goal menace.
Chile has never won the Copa America in the competition’s 99 year history, but with such a strong team there was clearly a feeling inside the country of ‘now or never’. And so it went to penalties. Maybe it was just the smoggy air but it seemed almost impossible to breathe inside the stadium. It was now!