Peru end Chile reign in Copa America with semifinal upset

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Peru made one of the biggest upsets in the Copa America history to beat arch-rivals Chile 3-0 and set up a final against hosts Brazil.

Edison Flores got Peru off to a dream start with an early goal at Gremio Arena, and Yoshimar Yotun also got on the board in the victory as holders Chile’s dream of winning the competition for a third time in a row was shattered in emphatic fashion.

An impressive Pedro Gallese recorded seven saves en route to keep in form Alexis Sanchez and company at bay and register a clean sheet.

Flores opened the scoring with a shot from inside the area in the 21st minute and Yotun added to the lead in the 38th with a strike into the open net after Chile goalkeeper Gabriel Arias left the area to try to stop a counterattack.

Guerrero sealed the victory in stoppage time to become the Copa América’s all-time leading scorer among active players with 13 goals.

Chile’s Eduardo Vargas could have matched Guerrero when his team was awarded a penalty kick in the final seconds, but he had his weak shot from the spot saved by Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.

Peru, which had already surprised title-favorite Uruguay in the quarterfinals, barely made it out of the group stage after a demoralizing 5-0 loss to Brazil, advancing as one of the best third-place finishers from the three groups.

This is the first time Peru enter the final of the South American tournament since 1975. It had lost seven of its last eight competitive matches against Chile, including in the semifinals of the Copa América in 2015.

Chile’s defeat to its longtime rival will raise further questions about its so-called golden generation, which failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The result will also add pressure on Colombian coach Reinaldo Rueda, who had been criticized since he took over the squad at the beginning of last year.

Chile and Argentina, who met in the last two Copa América finals, will play in the third-place game on Saturday.