Argentina, Chile Get Ready to Face Off in Copa América Final
Players of Argentina and Chile walk onto the field before a group D match between Argentina and Chile at Levi's Stadium as part of Copa America Centenario US 2016 on June 06, 2016 in Santa Clara, California, USBrian Bahr / LatinContent/Getty Images
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Soccer fans are getting what they asked for, a repeat of last year’s final.
Fútbol aficionados are eagerly anticipating watching Argentina and Chile battle it out once again, this time for this year’s historic 100th La Copa Américafinal game on Sunday, June 26.
Chile defeated Argentina last year after a nerve-wracking full 90 minutes that led to a penalty shoot-out, where the Chileans won 4-1.
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Making this rematch possible wasn’t the easiest path for both teams. Chile was off to a rough start after they ironically lost their first group play match 2-1 to Argentina.
Argentina has already beat Chile once during this tournament but momentum seems to have shifted after the first match. In a rare rematch, the red-hot Chileans seem to have everything going in their favor.
The first semifinal match was between Argentina and the United States. The Argentinians were off to a tremendous start after Argentina captain and FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi lifted the ball over the U.S. defense allowing teammate Ezequiel Lavezzi to loft the ball with his head into the back of the net.
Messi later netted his 55th goal for his country, breaking the all-time goal scoring record for Argentina. The free kick, from 25 yards out, skyrocketed into the top corner of the U.S. net, leaving soccer fans in awe. Argentina later had two players come off due to injury but finished strong to win 4-0 after two late goals from forward Gonzalo Higuain.
The second semifinal match was one that was filled with action, goals, and oddly enough, over two hours of weather delay. The semifinal that took place in Chicago saw fans evacuated due to extreme weather over the stadium.
Even after the long leg-stiffening delay, Chile continued its stride, feeding off their thunderous quarterfinal win over Mexico, to beat the Colombians, who failed to create and clear chances, 2-0 with two well-earned first half goals. Chile’s goals came from midfielders Charles Aranguiz and Jose Fuenzalida in the first half.
Soccer fans are in for an exciting Copa America Final as Argentina is ready to leave everything on the field as they search for their first major tournament trophy in over 20 years.
The much-anticipated final will be played on Sunday June 26 in East Rutherford, New Jersey at MetLife stadium at 8pET.
Darek Michael Wajda is currently an editorial intern with NBC Latino. Darek has also worked at CNBC and MSNBC as well as NECN and Telemundo Boston. He is a student at Northeastern University majoring in international affairs and political science. Darek is of Cuban-Polish ancestry and is bilingual and bicultural.