Santiago, June 25: Mauricio Isla struck late as Chile advanced to the semi-fils of the Copa America with a 1-0 victory over nine-man Uruguay in a fractious quarter-fil.
The full-back found the target nine minutes from time after Uruguay forward Edinson Cavani was dismissed following a second yellow card for an off-the-ball incident with Gonzalo Jara here on Wednesday, reports Xinhua.
Uruguay were handicapped further when Jorge Fucile was also booked for a second time for a rash tackle on Alexis Sanchez.
The hosts will now confront the winner of Thursday’s quarter-fil between Bolivia and Peru for a place in the fil. Jorge Sampaoli’s team are aiming to win the Copa America for the first time, despite the fact this will be their 20th appearance in the tourment’s last four.
Uruguay will head home pondering what might have been had they been able to call upon their talisman Luis Suarez. The striker missed the tourment due to a ban for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini during last year’s World Cup.
Cavani took his place in Uruguay’s starting line-up despite Tuesday’s arrest of his father for allegedly causing the death of a motorcyclist by crashing his car while drunk.
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez will surely be ruing that decision now after the forward showed a blatant - and understandable - lack of focus. Having struggled all tourment, Cavani looked particularly out of sorts on Wednesday. His most telling contribution was an ambitious 35-yard volley early in the second half that flew over the crossbar.
Chile dictated terms from the outset, boosted by the partisan support of a packed Estadio ciol stadium.
Jorge Valdivia continued his outstanding form this tourment as he provided the impetus of most of Chile’s attacking moves. He set up Charles Aranguiz in the 26th minute before the midfielder’s shot was blocked by Uruguay goalkeeper Ferndo Muslera.
Uruguay’s best chance of the first half was a Carlos Sanchez volley that flew just wide of the target. Just as Uruguay were beginning to look more threatening in attack, they were dealt a major body blow when Cavani was given his marching orders in the 63rd minute.
Replays of the incident showed Jara may have exaggerated by clutching his face and falling to ground after what was seemingly a minor tap on his cheek. Cavani was furious at the decision and had to be restrained by teammates before eventually leaving the pitch. Despite their numerical disadvantage, Uruguay didn’t relent. Sanchez drew audible gasps of relief from the crowd when he rifled a 30-yard volley inches wide of the right post. But their resistance was broken minutes later following goalkeeper Ferndo Muslera’s punched clearance. The ball fell to Valdivia and the veteran playmaker laid the ball off for Isla to lash a low 20-yard shot into the bottom corner.
Fucile’s sending off two minutes from time led to an free-for-all melee that included players and officials from both benches. Chile controlled possession in the fil minutes to close out the match and keep alive their hopes of winning a maiden continental trophy. IANS