Messi Misses Critical Penalty. Chile Wins Copa America Over Argentina.

Chile has won its second Copa America in two years, while Argentina and Messi have lost in the final for the second time in two years.

Chile has beaten Argentina in a penalty shoot-out in the Copa America final for the second time in two years. 

Arturo Vidal got Chile off the the most inauspicious start possible in the penalty shootout when he had his opening penalty saved. 

But then the impossible happened. In a shocking turn of events, Lionel Messi missed Argentina’s next penalty, failing to capitalize on Vidal’s miss and put Argentina ahead.

 

Minutes later, Chile secured a 4-2 victory in the shootout, and their second Copa America title in two years via Francisco Silva’s PK conversion:

It was a stunning end to a game that threatened to bore to death because referee Heber Lopes wanted to be the star of the show. After an absolutely electric opening to the game, Lopes dished out a second yellow to Chile’s Marcelo Diaz. It seemed as if Lopes didn’t realize what he was doing, because it took him quite some time to issue the concurrent red card:

Then, in the 43rd minute, in what appeared to be the most blatant make-up call we have seen all tournament, Lopes gave a red card to Argentina’s Marcus Rojo for a tackle from behind that should have been a yellow at worst.

When the second half started it was clear both teams were wary of mis-stepping, tactically or in the eyes of Lopes, and the game slowed down considerably.

Extra time proved to be surprisingly exciting, however, despite the fact that no goals were scored.

Penalty kicks then ensued, and the rest is history.

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