The time for the Copa America Centenario Final has come, and it’s a rematch between last year’s contenders, Argentina and Chile. Argentina are looking to for a major cup after 23 years, while Chile are looking to defend their throne as they won last year’s final at the penalty shoot-out.
Argentina confirmed the odds that were in their favor to win the competition, as they have reached the final without any real struggle. In the semi-final they faced host team USA, whom they obliterated with an undisputed 4-0. Their work was extremely easy as they were up with 2-0 by the 32nd minute with goals from Lavezzi and Messi. The second half was a typical procedure, with Higuain scoring two goals in the 50th and 88th minute to form the final 4-0. What is most notable from that encounter is the fact that USA didn’t try a single shot at the opposing goal. Argentina look ready and capable to lift the trophy after 23 years, while they will tie Uruguay as the team with most Copa America cups, with 15 if they win. They have won all 5 games so far in the tournament, as they overcame Chile in the premiere with 2-1, Panama with 5-0, Bolivia with 3-0, defeated Venezuela with 4-1 in the quarter-final, followed by their most dominant of showings in this tournament, the victory over USA in the semi-final. Argentina find the opposing nets with ease, with their offense being their biggest weapon so far, with players like Messi, Higuain, Aguero, Di Maria. Lavezzi and Augusto Fernandez will miss the final due to injuries, while Pastore and Gaitan are also doubtful to play. On the other hand, Di Maria and Rojo seem like they overcame their own injuries and should be available.
Chile ensured their second straight presence in the Copa America Final, when they defeated Colombia with 2-0 in the other semi-final, and now they have to defend last year’s title. Chile grabbed Colombia by the throat, as they were leading with 2-0 in the 11th minute already, with Chile also losing a few chances to increase their lead in between their goals. As time passed, Colombia took the upper hand in the field, and managed to threaten the Chileans in numerous occasions in the first half. The start of the second half was delayed by 2,5 hours due to extreme weather conditions which obviously had an impact on the players’ rhythm, and to make matters worse the field had became partially flooded. If that wasn’t enough, the referee didn’t award an obvious penalty kick in favour of Colombia, and a few minutes later he left them with 10 men on the pitch after a harsh second yellow card on Sanchez. Anyway, Chile played very well in that game, and for the last 4 games actually, they only lost one game, against Argentina in the opener. Their attacking trio of Vidal-Sanchez-Vargas have found perfect chemistry, as shown by their team’s 15 goals in their last 4 games. Vidal served his one match ban and will replace Pablo Hernandez who will miss the final due to injury.
Argentina and Chile will compete for the Copa America trophy, in a repetition of last year’s final, and Argentina are the big favorites here. Argentina were dominant in all games they played so far, which were all wins of course, and they now have a chance to revenge for last year’s lost final, and also win a competition for the first time in 23 years. Messi has accomplished almost everything in club level, but he is missing a title with Argentina, and I believe that he will find a way to punish the Chileans tonight. The Chileans have been increasingly getting better in their past games, and will now try to defend their title. However, under coach Pizzi the team’s focus is on the offense, and this could result in Messi giving them a hard time. I believe that we will see an open game in this final and I will go with the Over 2.25 Goals.
Copa América Final Prediction: Over 2.25 Goals (-110) in Chile vs Argentina