Final, 2-0 Chile: And the longest Copa America 2016 game comes to an end, with Chile moving on to the final.
The clock says Chile needed four-plus hours to clinch its place in Sunday’s final, but the defending Copa America champion really needed just 15 minutes. Charles Aranguiz and Jose Fuenzalida scored within the opening 11 minutes, giving Chile an advantage Colombia and Mother nature could not overcome.
History will remember the goals as a footnote to the game, which lasted deep into the Chicago night because the weather delayed the second half for nearly two-and-a-half hours. After torrential downpour and some lightning, play eventually resumed, albeit in a nastier spirit. Perhaps that’s the effect of waiting in the dressing room.
Colombia had a few opportunities to cut Chile’s lead, but Bravo denied them in a fine goalkeeping display, and the referee did the Cafeteros no favors in denying penalty appeals and sending off Sanchez. Yet Colombia fought to the end, literally, before its dream of reaching its first Copa America final since 2001 evaporated.
Colombia will take on the United States on Saturday in the third-place game.
Chile’s win sets up a rematch with Argentina; the team it beat on penalty kicks in last year’s final but lost to in its opening game of Copa America 2016.
That’s all for now, and thanks for joining us. Let’s discuss this one on Twitter @NESNsoccer and Facebook. Be sure to keep an eye out for some news, fan reactions, analysis and opinion coming up on NESN.com/soccer.
90th minute +2, 2-0 Chile: A fan runs onto the field, delaying the game and producing this gem of a moment.
90th minute, 2-0 Chile: There will be a minimum of two-and-a-half hours of stoppage time in the second half.
Just kidding. Four minutes.
90th minute, 2-0 Chile: James receives a yellow card for a nasty foul on an opponent. The game is threatening to descend into a street fight.
88th minute, 2-0 Chile: The referee shows Murillo a yellow card for a dangerous challenge on Puch.
88th minute, 2-0 Chile: Vargas departs, Mark Gonzalez enters in Chile’s final substitution.
87th minute, 2-0 Chile: Zapata brings down Alexis inside Colombia’s penalty area, but the referee simply ignores it. From here it looks like a make-up non-call.
85th minute, 2-0 Chile: The referee shows Silva a yellow card for tripping James and ending a Colombia counter-attack before it could begin.
80th minute, 2-0 Chile: Colombia makes its final substitution. Bacca replaces Cuadrado in Colombia’s final gamble.
78th minute, 2-0 Chile: The referee shows Puch a yellow card for a misplaced tackle on Moreno.
75th minute, 2-0 Chile: Fuenzalida exits, and Edson Puch enters, as Chile makes its second substitution.
73rd minute, 2-0 Chile: Sebastian Perez replaces Frank Fabra in Colombia’s second substitution.
70th minute, 2-0 Chile: James hits a powerful, knuckling shot on goal, but Ospina stops it and collects the rebound.
67th minute, 2-0 Chile: Cristian Zapata, one of Colombia’s center backs, dribbles into Chile’s penalty area but slips as he sets to shoot, sending his effort well high and wide of the goal.
66th minute, 2-0 Chile: Ospina saves Beausejour’s header, as Chile looks to seal the result by scoring the third goal.
65th minute, 2-0 Chile: Beausejour receives a yellow card for a foul on Cuadrado.
57th minute, 2-0 Chile: Referee Joel Aguilar shows Sanchez a second yellow card, and the Colombia defender earns a dismissal.
Sanchez’s foul on Aranguiz was slight, but Aguilar was certain it deserved a yellow card.
56th minute, 2-0 Chile: So much for sharp passing and movement. This game has descended into a sloppy fight.
52nd minute, 2-0 Chile: Colombia has shown more urgency than Chile in the first few minutes of the second half.
47th minute, 2-0 Chile: Torres and Colombia want a penalty kick after a defender appeared to foul him inside Chile’s penalty area, but the referee ignores their appeals.
The conditions certainly have changed the game, as players slide around the field and generally do things they might not otherwise do.
46th minute, 2-0 Chile: After two-plus hours of waiting, Colombia-Chile resumes with the second-half kickoff.
Colombia made a substitution during the um, interval.
Forward Marlos Moreno replaces midfielder Edwin Cardona.
Weather-delay update: Colombia-Chile will resume Wednesday night. The second half is expected to kick off around 11:25 p.m. ET.
The weather has delayed the start of the second half by over an hour.
Groundskeepers are busy trying to clear the field of standing water.
Expect a different game if and when the teams return to the field of play.
Halftime, 2-0 Chile: That’s the end of the first half. Chile leads by two.
Chile caught Colombia off guard at the outset, pummeling its rival with two early goals. Aranguiz and Fuenzalida were excellent in those opening minutes, and their goals are just rewards for their intent and execution. Colombia took about 20 minutes to gain a foot-hold in the game but produced some quality chances in the second phase of the half.
Time will tell whether Colombia’s revival was fleeting or too late. Los Cafeteros have been down against Chile before only to fight back.
The second half kickoff will be delayed because of the weather, FOX Sports’ Rob Stone announced on the broadcast.
45th minute +3, 2-0 Chile: Alexis receives a yellow card for landing an elbow on Jeison Murillo’s head.
45th minute +1, 2-0 Chile: Bravo denies Sanchez’s long-range effort. Seconds later, he punches a cross clear of danger.
45th minute, 2-0 Chile: There will be a minimum of three minutes of added time in the first half.
41st minute, 2-0 Chile: The referee shows Carlos Sanchez a yellow card for a tackle from behind on Chile’s Francisco Silva.
40th minute, 2-0 Chile: Colombia remains on the front foot in the closing stages of the first half. Rodriguez and Cuadrado are looking to combine on the right side, but Chile’s deep-lying defense handles the forays comfortably.
39th minute, 2-0 Chile: The referee shows Bravo a yellow card for time wasting.
32nd minute, 2-0 Chile: Bravo closes down Santiago Arias, as the Colombia fullback tries to cut Chile’s lead in half.
31st minute, 2-0 Chile: James hits a left-footed shot from 20 yards out, but it skids wide of Bravo’s goal.
Colombia has grown into the game in recent minutes, but the deficit remains as daunting as the task of climbing out of it.
28th minute, 2-0 Chile: Hernandez tried to play on from the injury, but the pain seems unbearable. He limps off.
Erick Pugar will replace Hernandez in Chile’s midfield.
25th minute, 2-0 Chile: Now Chile’s Pedro Pablo Hernandez is down with an apparent injury after Carlos Sanchez and Daniel Torres sandwiched him in a collision.
23rd minute, 2-0 Chile: Bravo makes a fine save on Martinez after James set up the Colombia striker with a delightful pass over the top.
19th minute, 2-0 Chile: Bravo is back on his feet, and the game resumes at break-neck speed.
17th minute, 2-0 Chile: Claudio Bravo, Chile’s goalkeeper, is down with an apparent injury he suffered in an awkward collision with Martinez.
15th minute, 2-0 Chile: Alexis dribbles past one defender inside Colombia’s penalty area and tries to beat David Ospina, his Arsenal teammate, at the near post, but the Colombia goalkeeper saves his effort.
13th minute, 2-0 Chile: The defending champions have made a habit of starting quickly in Copa America 2016. The result is something historic.
11th minute, 2-0 Chile: Fuenzalida doubles Chile’s lead.
Alexis shot off the post, and the rebound fell to Fuenzalida, who tapped it in from point-blank range.
10th minute, 1-0 Chile: Colombia thinks it has caught Chile in the offside trap, but Fuenzalida beats it and serves a cross into the penalty area. Colombia clears the danger in desperation.
Seventh minute, 1-0 Chile: Charles Aranguiz ghosts into Colombia’s six-yard box and stabs in the opener.
Colombia midfielder Juan Cuadrado tried to make a clearing header on Jose Fuenzalida’s cross, but it flew into dangerous territory. Araguiz reacted first and scored his first goal of Copa America 2016.
Aranguiz adds to Chile’s variety of danger men.
Fourth minute, 0-0: The teams have struggled to maintain possession early during the hectic opening stage of the contest.
Kickoff: The Copa America 2016 semifinal between Colombia and Chile is under way.
Expect Chile to push forward as much as possible, while Colombia should be content to counter attack.
Pregame: The Windy City weather is big talking point as kickoff nears. Meteoroligsts are predicting severe weather, and a tornado watch exists for the Chicago area.
The possibility of a weather delay before or during the game looms.
Chile will be without its midfield heart-beat, Arturo Vidal, who serves a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation. His absence will loom large, as Chile looks to become the first team to defend its Copa America title since Argentina in 1946 and 1947.
Marcelo Diaz also won’t start due to what Chile calls “health overload.”
Chile will lean more heavily on star forwards Alexis Sanchez, who is making his 100th appearance for his country, and Eduardo Vargas, who leads Copa America 2016 in goal scoring with six.
Colombia forward Carlos Bacca will miss the semifinal due to an ankle injury. Roger Martinez will start up front in Bacca’s absence.
But Colomiba’s star midfielder James Rodriguez will be present and accounted for in Chicago.
7:45 p.m.: Here are the starting lineups:
7:30 p.m. ET: The national soccer teams of Colombia and and Chile are one step away from their date with destiny.
The teams face off Wednesday night at Soldier Field in Chicago in the semifinals of Copa America 2016. The knockout game will determine which nation will face Argentina on Sunday in the final and the United States on Saturday in the third-place game.
Colombia-Chile kicks off at 8 p.m. Join us right here for all the action from Soldier Field.
Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images