RIO de JANEIRO, Brazil — A very spirited Peru national side smashed reigning champions Chile 3-0 in the second semifinal to advance to its first Copa America final since 1975.
Peru took the lead 20 minutes into the contest when Edison Flores volleyed home from a corner that was nodded on for him to finish.
The lead doubled 17 minutes later when Yoshimar Yotun took advantage of a mistake by goalkeeper Gabriel Arias for a 2-0 halftime lead, while captain Paolo Guerrero completed the scoring to make it 3-0 one minute in second-half stoppage time.
Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese had a few saves in the second half, including a dinked penalty from Eduardo Vargas just before the final whistle.
“Peru played well, they deserve to be in the final,” said experienced Chilean midfielder Gary Medel.
“That hurts as we wanted to win another title. We had chances in the second half but we couldn’t convert them.”
Peru on the back of its fourth straight shutouts in the Copa America knockout stage will now face host nation Brazil in the final on Sunday at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
The Brazilians booked their place int he finals with a 2-0 win over Lionel Messi and Argentina in semifinal one on Tuesday night.
Brazil will start as the favourite to win the title after beating Peru 5-0 in the third match of group play earlier in the this year’s Copa America.
However, the Peruvians are prepared to battle all the way.
“I think we all played well, we all made sacrifices,” winning skipper Guerrero said.
“We were very intense and we deserve to be in the final. “Now we need to rest and think of Brazil. It’ll be a very hard final.”
CHILE: Arias; Isla, Medel, Maripan, Beausejour; Aranguiz, Pulgar, Vidal; Sanchez, Vargas, Fuenzalida
PERU: Gallese; Advincula, Zambrano, Abram, Trauco; Tapia, Yotun; Carrillo, Cueva, Flores; Guerrero