A win against Mexico and a 1-1 draw with Uruguay has placed Chile in a great position on top of Group C in the Copa America 2011. Their next game comes against Peru, who are in second place in the group, and both sides have already progressed to the quarter-finals of the competition due to other results.
Chile’s lacklustre first-half against Uruguay resulted in their draw with the World Cup semi-finalists, but the second-half performance was magnificent from Coach Claudio Borghi’s side and their confidence is high. Chile have the stronger side over Peru and the form of Udinese forward Alexis Sanchez in the tournament should be enough to get the win and outright top the group. Whichever side finishes second will face the host country Argentina.
There will be a huge presence of Chilean fans at the Estadio Malvinas Argentinas in Mendoza with 30,000 La Roja fans prepared to make the trip to give their side the edge. The support of the fans has been highly influential for Chile and their vocal support roared Borghi’s side back into the game against Uruguay, which was in the same stadium in Mendoza.
The Chile players are still focused on the task in hand and they realise that there is a long way to go before the end of the tournament, which La Roja have now been made a keen favourite to win. Monterrey striker Humberto Suazo believes that the main thing is to perform and try and win the Copa America for the first time in Chilean history. 30-year-old Suazo, one of the elder statesmen of the Chilean side, added: “The
Chilean central defender Pablo Contreras, who plays at Greek side PAOK Thessaloniki, has acknowledged that the way La Roja play has served them particularly well in the competition. Chile’s attacking philosophy has saw them rip defences apart when they are in full flow and with Sanchez and 27-year old-playmaker Luis Jimenez in top form, Peru face a struggle to contain Chile. Contreras has also called for complete focus and attention from his teammates and wants them to enforce the style of football that Coach Borghi has set them up to play.
The potential opponents for Chile will be either host nation Argentina, if Chile are defeated by Peru, or any of the four teams in Group B, if Chile win or draw against La Blanquirroja. Chile could draw Brazil, who dumped them out of the Copa America 2007 and World Cup 2010 at the quarter-final stage. However, with Brazil’s current problems and the form that Chile are in, Borghi will not fear any other side in the competition. Chile have the potential to win their first Copa America title and they will look to pick up their second win against Sergio Markarian’s Peru.