The 2015 Copa America Final, held on July 4 at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago, will feature the hosts, Chile, and probably the favorites to win the title right off the bat, Argentina.
The difference between the two sides who rose to the occasion in a rather disappointing tournament? Argentina deserve to make it this far. Chile? Too many shady moments, especially in the quarterfinals and semifinals, getting help from referees that cast a very disgusting cloud of doubt over this whole tournament and its validity, or at least over one team.
Road to the final – Argentina were drawn in Group B, where they finished first. After a slightly stunning 2-2 draw with Paraguay after already leading 2-0, they beat Uruguay 1-0 and Jamaica 1-0 as well. In the quarterfinals they were dragged to a 0-0 draw by Colombia but won in a penalty shootout, and destroyed Paraguay in the semifinal with a 6-1 one victory.
Chile finished on top of their group as well, starting the tournament with a 2-1 win over Ecuador, followed by a thrilling 3-3 draw with Mexico and capped the group stage by whipping Bolivia 5-0. They beat Uruguay 1-0 in the quarterfinals, the match that involved Edinson Cavani unfairly sent off while Gonzalo Jara (by now suspended from the tournament) kind of sexually molested him. More controversy followed in the semifinal, beating Peru 2-1 and enjoying another controversial red card handed to their opponents.
Scorers – Sergio Aguero is the leading scorer for Argentina in the tournament with 3, followed by Angel di Maria (both in the semifinal) and Gonzalo Higuain with two each. Lionel Messi, Javier Pastore and Marcos Rojo have each scored one goal.
Eduardo Vargas is the top scorer of the whole tournament with four goals (two in the semifinal). He’s followed by Arturo Vidal with 3, Charles Aranguiz with two and one each for Mauricio Isla, Alexis Sanchez and Gary Medel.
History – This is the 27th time Argentina have made the final (in the different variations of the tournament), winning it 14 times. Their last trophy came in 1993, and since then they’ve lost twice in the final: 2004 and 2007, both times against Brazil. However, in 1991 they won the tournament, which was the last time it was held in Chile.
For the Chileans it’s a much rarer opportunity to win something. They’ve never won the Copa America, and haven’t even been to the final since 1987.