The semi-final line-up of the Copa America is nearly complete, after Argentina and holders Chile booked their places in the last four of the competition. Here is what happened in those crucial quarter-final clashes.
Argentina see-off Venezuela at Maracana
Argentina recorded a 2-0 victory over Venezuela on Friday night at the Estadio do Maracana to progress to the last four. La Albiceleste once against produced an underwhelming performance.
Lionel Scaloni’s team took the lead on 10 minutes. Sergio Aguero fired a shot towards goal from a corner kick and striker Lautaro Martinez produced a fantastic back-heeled effort that beat the Venezuela ‘keeper.
Venezuela should have equalised in the second period. However, Argentina goalkeeper Franco Armani was equal to an effort from Ronald Hernandez.
La Albiceleste also came close to finding the target when Leandro Paredes put Martinez through on goal, only for the Inter forward to clip the bar with his effort. However, Argentina did seal victory on 74 minutes, courtesy of a howler from Venezuela goalkeeper Wuilker Farinez.
Farinez allowed an Aguero effort to squirmed under his body, which gave Real Betis star Giovani Lo Celso the easy task off tapping home. The goal was a relief for Scaloni’s side were far from coasting. The defeat ended a three-game unbeaten run for Venezuela against Argentina. Meanwhile, the victory sets up a heavyweight semi-final against Brazil.
Argentina remain second favourites to lift the trophy, despite their potentially tough last four clash. Neither team has been that convincing in the competition so far, so the clash could really go either way. However, the home soil advantage obviously favours the Selecao.
Chile through after penalty kick win over Colombia
Copa America holders Chile are through to the semi-finals of the competition after a 5-4 penalty kick win over Colombia after a goalless draw.
The game was a tense affair with Colombia starting the better of the two teams. However, it was Chile who believed they had taken on the lead on 16 minutes, as Charles Aranguiz had a goal disallowed for offside by VAR.
Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal also saw a second-half effort disallowed by VAR, but this time the goal was ruled out due to a handball in the build-up to the midfielder’s effort.
The game then hinged on a penalty shootout after the 90 minutes of action could not split the pair on the night. The penalty shootout was also close. However, Colombia’s William Tesillo missed and Alexis Sanchez scored Chile’s fifth penalty to book their place in the semi-finals.
Chile remain in the hunt to make history, as no team has won three back-to-back Copa America tournaments since Argentina in the 1940s. Despite their history with the competition, they are still ranked behind continental giants Brazil and Argentina to lift the trophy. The holders will face either Uruguay or Peru in the last four. If Uruguay makes it through to the semi-finals, then arguably the four biggest football countries in South America will have made the last four, with few surprises along the way.
Will Uruguay make it to the last four of the Copa America?