Chile are only two games away from defending their Copa America crown.
After the demolition of Mexico at La Roja Wedding, Chile now have their eyes on a successful defence of their crown. However, if they are going to make the final showdown they will have to do so without their king, with Arturo Vidal suspended for this semi-final.
Colombia and Chile met in Santiago last November in a 1-1 draw and both teams have scored in four of the last five meetings between the pair, so neutrals might expect a few more goals following the seven that Chile put past Mexico in the last round.
Colombia’s quarter-final was a contrasting affair to the Mexico game as it finished goalless and was settled by penalties after a disappointing contest but Colombia deserved to go through and now have a chance to make their first Copa final since 2001. They claimed the trophy on that occasion and with the likes of James Rodriguez, Carlos Bacca and Juan Cuadrado in attack, and Jeison Murillo marshalling the defence they have a squad that is capable of repeating that success.
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Despite their disappointing showing in this tournament last year Colombia still beat Brazil 1-0 and only lost to Argentina on penalties after a nil-nil, so they’re clearly a hard side to beat. Since the start of the 2012/13 season they’ve played 15 matches against teams in the top 10 of our rankings and have gone W5-D6-L4 while conceding just 12 goals and with 10/15 games having fewer than three strikes.
Chile were unbelievable in their quarter-final as they ended the longest unbeaten streak in international football but repeating that performance will be almost impossible. There have been 21 games at major tournaments (Copas, Euros or World Cups) since 1990 where one side had won their previous match by at least five clear goals and they’ve gone just W8-D9-L4 in the next game. Furthermore, seven of the last 11 have actually failed to score and if we just look at knockout matches the results change to W2-D4-L1 with three 0-0s and four failures to score.
The idea therefore that this will be low scoring runs against the trend of Chile’s recent games, however, as eight of their last nine have had at least three goals. Things do tend to be tighter when they are facing quality teams though. Since 2014, 10 of their 15 matches against teams in our top 10 finished with fewer than three goals as they won only three in 90 minutes (W3-D5-L7).
For all of Chile’s excellence against Mexico there will surely be a bit of a comedown in this game and with Arturo Vidal out they are a very different side. Colombia certainly have the talent and capabilities to put an end to Chile’s defence and we do have them ranked higher. If anything, the draw looks the best bet in the match outcome odds and there have been eight 0-0s in 44 major semi-finals since 1990 which makes the correct score a touch of value.