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Chile stun Argentina on penalties to win Copa America

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Chile successfully defended their Copa America title, beating Argentina on penalties for the second straight year, with the reigning champions holding their more flamboyant South American neighbours to a 0-0 draw after 120 minutes of play infront of a record crowd of 82,076 at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

In an ill-tempered game which saw both teams reduced to 10-men in the first half itself, Argentine were always the more likely to score, but ran into an in-form stopper in Barcelona keeper Claudio Bravo, and a Chile side that was more than happy to get men behind the ball and defend in numbers.

Lionel Messi in particular was consistently on the receiving end of niggly fouls and was regularly crowded out as a host of Chile players closed him down everytime Argentina tried to get their captain on the ball.

Chile's Marcelo Diaz was issued his marching orders in the 28th minute after picking up two yellow cards, both for fouls on Messi, while parity was restored in terms of the number of players 15 minutes later when Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo was shown a straight red for a tough tackle on Arturo Vidal.

Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain, who has developed a bit of a reputation for missing easy chances in big games, added another to his rather infamous collection by spurning the best chance of the match in the 21st minute after Chile's Gary Medel gifted possession to Argentina and Higuain raced through on goal. The striker's attempted chip over Bravo beat the keeper, but drifted narrowly wide.

Claudio Bravo still had a busy game, keeping out a header from Sergio Aguero in extra time, while also denying Lionel Messi late in the game.

The match made its way to penalties where Chile surrendered the early advantage when Man United stopper Sergio Romero saved Arturo Vidal's effort. Messi failed to make the opportunity count as he blazed his spot kick high.

Nicolas Castillo, Javier Mascherano, Charles Aránguiz, Sergio Aguero and Jean Beausejour scored 5 straight to make it 3-2 in favour of Argentine before Lucas Biglia saw his effort terrifically kept out by Bravo to hand the advantage to Chile.

Francisco Silva a substitute who replaced Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez late in the game, had the chance to make himself a national hero, and sent Romero the other way to win the game for Chile.

A gutted Lionel Messi announced his immediate international retirement after the game, at a rather young 29 years of age, having won absolutely nothing during his time with the national team. It is the decision he is almost guaranteed to be asked to reconsider ahead of the World Cup in a couple of years' time.

Final Score: Argentina 0-0 Chile

Chile Penalties: Vidal saved, Castillo scored, Aránguiz scored, Beausejour scored, Silva scored

Argentina Penalties: Messi missed, Mascherano scored, Agüero scored, Biglia saved

Chile win 4-2 on penalties