Claudio Bravo saved all three penalty shots as Chile advanced to the Confederations Cup over Portugal via shootout. Here’s how it happened:
Portugal – 0 – 0 – 0 (3) 0
Chile – 0 – 0 – 0 (0) 0
Up and down half but not much to showcase. Chile had their best chance denied by Patricio early, and didn’t get a hold on the game for 20 minutes after that. Portugal and Ronaldo had several chances but have been off target. Chile did settle down and take control in the final 15 minutes of the half, but both teams have been sound defensively. There have been near-mistakes at both ends, but no critical errors thus far.
Both teams are well-prepared to play for 120 minutes. Chile won two Copa America titles in shootouts, and Portugal defeated Poland in penalties to reach the Euro semifinals.
Semifinal action starts Wednesday when Portugal take on Chile.
A meeting of arguably the two most experienced teams in the tournament, Portugal and Chile haven’t met in a competition since 1972. Ronaldo wasn’t playing for Portugal then but he is now, and he’ll be the threat Chile will look to neutralize. Ronaldo hasn’t slowed down in this tournament, and has 16 goals in his last ten games for Madrid and Portugal combined.
Chile, the oldest team in the tournament, will be committed to shutting Ronaldo down. Chile are no stranger to speedy international stars, as they regularly take on teams like Argentina and Brazil. Chile went into the tournament juggling injured players, but has a full squad healthy for Wednesday. Claudio Bravo and Alexis Sanchez both started the tournament on the sidelines, but both will play important roles in the semifinals.
Portugal went into the tournament fully healthy, but is dealing with a few injuries. Raphael Guerreiro was excellent in group play before limping off against Russia with a leg injury. Bernard Silva is also dealing with an ankle injury, and manager Fernando Santos has told reporters he will be a match-time decision.
In addition to injuries, Portugal’s defensive anchor Pepe is serving a yellow card ban and will be unavailable.
Chile were expected to reach the semifinals, but a draw with Australia in their final group match was a minor disappointment. The two-time defending Copa America champions will look to force Portugal into mistakes and earn possession in the opposing third. Chile didn’t deal well when Australia were the ones applying pressure, and it’ll be interesting if Santos employs a similar strategy. Chile have won two Copa America titles in penalty kicks, and will have no problem taking this match to 120 minutes.
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