Chile to win – 5/6
Both teams find themselves in the final four after coming out on the right side of absolute classics.
Two 0-0 draws in the space of 12 hours; what more could you ask for?
Those two games, however, could have been very different as both Chile and Peru enjoyed vastly different fortunes with regards to VAR.
Video technology has played an integral role in the low-scoring nature of this year’s Copa, most notably when it disallowed five goals scored against Venezuela in their opening two group games.
It was at its inhibitive best in the quarter finals, twice denying Chile in their clash with Colombia and thrice preventing Uruguay from taking the lead against Peru.
At face value, one team is fully deserving of their place in the last four, while the other is quite fortunate. That theory holds true if one delves deeper into both side’s performances.
Chile were excellent against Colombia and stifled the only team who could still boast a 100% record after the group stages. Peru, on the other hand, were defensively well structured but offered virtually no threat on the front foot. The absence of extra time meant that the Peruvians could hope to hold out for 90 minutes and sneak through on penalties, which is exactly what they did.
It’s hard to see them doing so again, however, and a visibly superior Chile team should book their place in a third successive final.
Both teams to score? (No) – 6/10
There are several reasons to believe this won’t be a high scoring affair. One relates to the aforementioned absence of extra time, with a clear incentive for Peru to employ the same tactics and hope for a second penalty shootout in a row.
Another is Peru’s poor goalscoring record at the tournament. They have drawn blanks in three of their four games so far and only have a game against Bolivia – the worst performing team in the tournament – to thank for their paltry three goals.
Peru have punched well above their weight at the Copa America though, and this is their third semi-final in four competitions. However, this has been by far their most unconvincing display at the tournament in recent memory.
They are extremely fortunate to still be at the tournament and a limited attack should come unstuck against a well organised Chile side.
Eduardo Vargas to score anytime – 21/10
It’s hard to pick a goalscorer when neither side have scored a goal in their last two games and momentum is non-existent, but the former QPR man looks a good bet.
Starting at the tip of Chile’s attack, Vargas will be difficult to contain from a Peruvian perspective.
Vargas has two of Chile’s six goals at the 2019 Copa America, with both of them coming in their group opener against Ecuador and, at 29, he still retains the pace and agility that made him such a nuisance to play against.
With the majority of the semi-final likely to be played close to the Peruvian goal, the nippy forward could come up with a crucial moment.
* All odds correct at time of posting.