Uruguay does not end up carbureting. Tabárez’s pupils have started the Copa América with difficulties, but fortunately they have a Luis Suárez, a stubborn goalkeeper. The pressure of the nine Atlético provoked the own goal of Arturo Vidal that frustrated the victory of Chile, a team that lived a convulsive weekend after breaking the sanitary protocols.
It seemed that the mess was the perfect fuel for Chile. On the Saturday and Sunday before the game, La Roja did not train on the field. The reason was the conflict in the team that had gotten into trouble for hiring a hairdresser outside the health bubble in the hotel in Chile. The coach, Martín Lasarte, asked that indiscipline be transformed into courage. If in the 2015 Copa América Arturo Vidal starred in the crash of his Ferrari after having drunk alcohol and despite that La Roja won the tournament, there were reasons to believe that in 2021 they could capitalize on that incident.
Claudio Bravo filled the Chilean team with vigor with two saves from Cavani and De Arrascaeta. Those first Uruguayan chances were the most the Uruguayan team could do, which still can’t find the button to revive Federico Valverde. Chile took the field with power, as if they were on the edge. The Chilean goal, on minute 26, was a great play by Eduardo Vargas who found Benjamin Brereton a great partner to open holes and thus shot Muslera. Blow for the Uruguayan strategy that needed to react after losing 1-0 to Argentina.
Vargas, an exclusive scorer for La Roja, had put the team ahead in the face of Uruguay’s lack of a compass. The intermission served for Tabárez to distribute the chair and revive the Uruguayan group. The play that was oxygen for Uruguay occurred in a corner kick in which Suárez put muscle to reach a comb from José María Giménez. The forward took Vidal’s leg ahead to force the own goal. Suárez expropriated the goal. “You hit me half a kick, asshole,” Vidal reproached him at the end of the game. “I won the position, just,” replied the Atleti in a conversation that was recorded after the game.
The tie evidenced the physical decline of the Chileans who could not stop the Uruguayan onslaught. Vidal, Vargas and Brereton left the field. Marshal Charles Aránguiz endured the entire game with discomfort at the last. La Roja had the lead goal at the feet of 19-year-old Luciano Arriagada, who ended up missing a cross shot. Who also failed was Cavani, in the final stretch, with a shot that scared Bravo.
Suárez kicked, missed and claimed. The attacker was once again the uncomfortable player for the rivals who had been for a long time and was also in charge of hindering the exits of his ex-teammate Bravo. It was a tough game, one that leaves the celestial team that has drawn their two games in the Copa América in distress. The benefits of the tournament will allow four of the five countries to qualify in each group, but the Uruguayans want to avoid encountering Tite’s overwhelming Brazil in the quarterfinals.
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