Alexis wins Copa America with his penalty

By Walter Broeckx

With not much Arsenal football on these days one has to take what one can get. So I decided to have a look at the final of the Copa America. Chile versus Argentina. Alexis versus Messi.

Well I sure didn’t regret staying up late for this.

Chile started the best and had the first chances. An impressive Vidal saw his half footed volley stopped by the Argentina keeper. Then a free kick from Messi was headed in by Aguero but Bravo made a brave save on the line.

Not many chances but both teams playing with a lot of heart and passion and as a result a few yellow cards came out. Some a bit harsh, others where a card would have been better were let go by the ref. A ref who clearly tried to keep the church in the middle as we say in my mother language. Meaning the ref tried to give the impression of being impartial.

Right at the end of the first half a chance for Argentina but the shot was straight at the keeper so no goals.

Immediately after the restart Alexis won the ball in a dangerous position but Vidal couldn’t place his header wide from the keeper’s hands. Messi couldn’t really influence the game in open play; Chile players swarming around him from the moment he got the ball.  Chile did go for the win but didn’t get a lot of chances. But Argentina also not really carving out much chances.

In the final minutes of the normal time Chile, going for it, got caught on the counter. Messi gave it to the left and Banega crossed it to the second post where (Arsenal target…. no thanks) couldn’t put the ball in the net. A let off for Chile and a big blow for Higuan and Argentina.

Extra time it was and with lots of stops for players needing treatment with cramps. Alexis working hard and at the end of the first half of extra time he got away when Macherano missed the ball. But his shot went over…just. Maybe a cut back could have been the better option but hey it is so easy from my seat in front of the TV.

Chile really kept on playing with their heart in the second period of extra time and they really didn’t deserve to lose the match as the underdogs who really worked amazinly to win their first copa America in their own country.

No goals in extra time. Penalties would decide the outcome.

Chile took the first and scored. A thunder shot, unstoppable. Messi then and he also shot the ball well in the corner but low this time.A second Chile player scored his penalty.  Time for (Arsenal target… no thanks) Higuan and I don’t know which direction the ball went but I think it flew out of the stadium. Vidal (another Arsenal target …. wouldn’t mind him to be honest) scored.  Romero got a hand to it but couldn’t keep it out.

Banega then for Argentina and this time Bravo stopped the effort low to his left.  This meant that if Chile scored their next penalty they would win the Copa America for the first time. What a weight must have been on the smallest player on the pitch who stepped up to the penalty spot…our own Alexis Sanchez.

But what he did was just amazing. Nobody ever would dare to take a Panenka penalty again at such a stage. Unless you are called Alexis of course. He just waited for Romero to dive to his left and rolled the ball in the goal. I do admit that I cheared out loud for Alexis. He clearly was overfilled with joy (very understandable of course)  and the whole Chilean team and the whole nation I can imagine went crazy.

Chile isn’t the best team in South America. But they surely have the biggest fighting heart from all of them. A few top players like Alexis and Vidal and a few very talented and hard working players.

So of course it will be a great moment for Alexis and it is great for him. And a rather strange similarity for Alexis and Özil. Özil left Real Madrid, lost out on the CL but won the FA cup and then went on to beat Messi in the final of the world cup. Alexis left Barcelona, lost out on the CL but won the FA cup and then went on to beat Messi in the final of the Copa America.

A final word on the crowd in the stands. I have never heard so much noise coming from the Chile supporters before today. They were amazing and sang the whole 120 minutes and some more. Simply amazing.

So not Arsenal playing as a club but with Alexis we had an important person involved and at least when they are involved in such tournaments the best we can have is that they win and are successful.

I can imagine it will have been a long night in Santiago and the whole of Chile.

Well done Alexis, now take a good short rest and then come back to The Arsenal.

Anniveary of the day

5 July 2013: In a move that surprised a few, Francis Coquelin, having signed a long
term contract went to Freiburg on a season long loan.  He played just 16 times for the club and had difficulties with the manager, before returning in June 2014.

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28 Replies to “Alexis wins Copa America with his penalty”

  1. Delighted for Alexis. Now he needs a very long rest on a beach somewhere …

  2. @Tim

    May be on the beach Alex will do an Arsene when he was on the beach, fish out a great player to bring home to Arsenal.

  3. Happy for Alexis and Chile, and they thoroughly deserved their win. Argentina may have had the clearer chances but Chile had more attacking threat throughout the match and had more territorial possession. Alexis also struck a beautiful volley that just missed the target, would have been one of the goals of the tournament had it gone in, in my view.

    I fully agree with your views that the Chileans have amazing fighting spirit; almost all of them fight like Alexis. They have been like that every match I’ve seen them play, from the world cup. And they have some of the smallest men on the pitch anywhere in the world. All tenacious, like jack russells, simply amazing.

    I doubt there’ll be a copa America hangover with Alexis though, although he badly needs a rest after playing through the last two summers (world cup last summer and this copa America).

  4. Go Alexis ! Had predicted a 2-0 win for Chile , but still glad the won . Many of their players will now have a much higher profiles .
    Come back well rested and ready to roll , Alexis !

  5. Well done Alexis. A nice long(for Alexis, a week) holiday and rest. It is rumoured that AW had to threaten to leave him on the bench for 4 weeks if he did not take his family/gal on holiday right now for 3-4 weeks. 🙂
    We say football is fast in Uk, but watching the game i felt like i was watching one of those “slightly speeded up” news reel from the old days.
    They were scurrying around the pitch just like that.

  6. Congrats to Alexis on his Copa America win. As much as I love Sanchez, I av also wished Messi a senior international cup win. Was torn apart b4, during n after d game. On a much more pragmatic note, very api Alexis won coz dts beta 4 d Arsenal n I’m still hoping for the recognition of our players at d very top of the Ballon d’oor tree even though I’d prefer if it’s scrapped.
    Alexis looked worn out yesterday. I hope he gets enough rest coz I’m sure d boss will look 2 give him enough time to recharge, but we know the man’s attitude
    Also, not to spite Lionel Messi who I’m clearly a fan of and Christiano Ronaldo, I believe d internationals av helped 2 show dt no matter ao gud a player is, the strength of the team around him is indispensable.
    I’ve fallen in love with a lot of untolders n their measured and optimistic submissions on all things Arsenal – my definition of measured includes their attacks on d aaa n hack dwarves. Keep up d gud work. So, as is my usual ado anytime I decide to comment, a shout out to d mercurial Tony Attwood, the indefatigable Walter Broecxk – I hope ur wife is in good health, the unrepentant Dr Billy and all other untold writers who continue to enlighten us n sometimes entertain us.
    Also a big shout out Gord whose response to my recognition of him sometime ago really warmed my heart – can’t comprehend those figures n workings of urs though, Jambug – how is Mrs Jambug, omg, AL, bootoomee, Josif, Mike, Porter, Para n every other person who contributes 2 dis great site. it’s always a pleasure 2 read ur comments. COYG

  7. Congratulations to Alexis and good luck to Messi next time. You said you wouldn’t mind if we have Vidal. Well I have thought he is aging and could soon be declining in his performances on the field for Arsenal if they sign him. But on a 2nd thought, Vidal at 28 could still have some fire left in his engine to burn well for Arsenal in Arsenal games for the next 2 years. If Cazorla was good for 3 years for Arsenal up to clocking 30 years last season. A said to be rugged Vidal should be top too for Arsenal on a medium term. If he can immensely contributes to our titles success next season, the Boss can bring him to Arsenal. Yes, why not?

  8. Yes, congrats to Alexis. I didn’t see the game so can’t comment on his performance, except to say that the Sunday Mail gave him an 8, which was the top mark of any performer on the pitch. So MOTM!
    If he takes the obligatory four weeks leave he should return in good shape for the season to come, but you never know with Alexis and he’ll probably insist on joining pre season with the rest of the squad.
    Arsene needs to be firm.

  9. If one didn’t know better, one might suspect that many if not all of the contributors on this site appear to hold this Alexis chap ( whoever he is) in some regard. So nice to see so many wishing a man and his family a happy holiday and safe return. I too shall echo these sentiments and look forward to the wonderful early autumn afternoon when this young man might once again don his superhero shirt with 17 on the back and resume is artistry.

  10. Only slightly off topic, I hope: — Congratulations to England for their win over Germany. Bringing on Lianne Sanderson made the difference!

  11. Well done Alexis – what a player! I suppose he will now celebrate with a 12 hour work out!

    Seriously he needs a good rest, physically and mentally, before next season. But, it will be great to see him back in the Arsenal shirt.

  12. I am more a believer in active rest, instead of laying on a beach. Most of us don’t get the opportunity to see the country we live in (or are from), especially when you come from big countries. But, I notice from:

    that Chile has a lot of organized (and not so organized) hiking trails. This page doesn’t say anything about having dogs on a hike, which might be a problem. I would think it might be getting late in the season to go into Patagonia (where among other things, you might run across beaver introduced (incorrectly) from Canada. But I would imagine the trails around Santiago might have low probabilities of ice. A guide and a good GPS (just in case the guide isn’t so good), and a few day hikes might make a good vacation.

    For the more adventurous, the Degree Confluence Project shows a number of unvisited or incompletely visited “confluences”. You need to be more adventurous, as usually the locations you are going to have no path to them. I think I have done 11 in Alberta, Canada. None terribly difficult, but two were dangerous (wolves, bears, cougar).

  13. Well done and congratulations to our very own ‘Duracell Bunny’.

    Now, please, remove the batteries and allow them to recharge, and then come back to us, fit, well rested, and raring to go.

    Your country must be very proud of you, as are all of us at Untold.


  14. @Gord
    Did some hiking in Chile…often the trails would just peter off into nothingness…being with someone who knew the area was a must. Or a good map…which was hard to find…a compass would be smart to have.

    Going hiking today near the Spray Lakes (Banff)

  15. Its funny when Argentina hit Paraguay for 6 it was all about Messi that,messi this but i wonder why the whorelists are not talking about Sachez he was the master minder in Chile but who cares we know them if Argentina had won oooh my gash,Messi the man behind the win,the wizard,blah,blah,blah. Thanks be to GOD that never happened no pollution will be antagonising the lovely Earth winds. Sanchez said he is having just one week and heading back to his beloved team,cant imagine the spirit that guy has.

  16. Congrats to Alexis and Chile.

    5 Things I Learnt From The Copa America Final (As if I’m one of those sports ‘editors’).

    1. The Chile Spirit always win. (Remember the spirited rescue operation of 33 trapped miners in 2010. Each time the ‘capsule’ surfaced with a miner, it was greeted with chi-chi-chi le-le-le… CHILE!) So I knew Messi and Argentina had a very steep mountain to climb in the final.
    2. Messi was not spectacular in the absence of his Barca mates.
    3. Alexis was his usual pain in the ass Duracel bunny in the midst of his fellow talented duracel mates.
    4. Higuain is sh*t. (You know it’s easiest to judge a player by his last match).
    5. Vidal’s qualities are over-estimated imho. Hey, but you never can tell what those qualities would be after few days in London Colney.
    6. Arsene should buy Alexis Sanchez now if Arsenal must compete for the EPL title next season. […but, he is an Arsenal player already you may wonder??? Ok, ok, I know…but errr, Vengar should BUY him AGAIN!]

  17. Ok I goofed (Isn’t that what the ‘editors’ always do? )

    My headline said 5 things, I then listed 6. And now the 7th thing is what everybody know already…

    7. Alexis insulted Romero and he deserved to be reported to the Metropolitan Police according to the Metro. That should serve as deterrent to other Arsenal players. (hope you are reading this, Rosický).

  18. If you look at the images of the Argentina team and the Chile team the difference was that the main star from Chile stood with his teammates arm in arm. The main star of Argentina stood on his own. As if there is a barrier between him and the rest of the team. And if he is not capable of passing that barrier, Argentina will win nothing with him in the team (maybe same goes for Portugal and Ronaldo? ) The ego of some players is just too big for a team if that team is not used to play for him.

  19. Well done Alexis!! Congratulations on winning the Copa America.

    Now come back to the Arsenal with that “feel good” spirit to galvanise a run at more trophies for the Gunners!

  20. Alexis needs at least 5 weeks off for complete R+R and then we shouldn’t see him until September at the earliest. Have him primed and ready to go for Chelsea on the 19th seems about right.

  21. Alexis is a warrior. He never say never. What I like about him is the desire to win everytime he is out on the field.

    A star team comprises of so many people working together to achieve a common goal whereas a team of stars is a team with many many individual stars and no connection. Chile is a star team and Argentina a team of Stars

  22. Thanks Walter, link works perfectly.

    You’ve got to love those South American commentators 🙂

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