Chile is back in the Copa America final for a second straight summer after beating Colombia 2-0 in a rain-delayed semifinal in Chicago.
Charles Aranguiz and Jose Fuenzalida scored in the opening 11 minutes, and after a two-hour weather delay, Chile finished off Los Cafeteros, setting up a final rematch against Argentina Sunday at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Colombia was reduced to 10 men midway through the second half when Carlos Sanchez was sent off, and it couldn't overcome the elements, the man deficit and the Chilean defense to get back in the game.
Chile picked up right where it left off after a 7-0 thrashing of Mexico in the quarterfinals, jumping on Colombia out of the gate.
Aranguiz opened the scoring early for Chile, which continued its pattern of relentless pressure. Aranguiz took advantage of a poor backward header by Juan Cuadrado, and he volleyed home from the doorstep with his first touch in the seventh minute:
Just four minutes later, Alexis Sanchez rifled a shot off the post, and it redirected right to Fuenzalida, who was unmarked, onside and tapped home into the empty net to make it 2-0.
Chile carried that lead into halftime, when a lengthy weather delay postponed the final 45 minutes. Lightning and dangerous weather in the Chicago area kept the teams in their locker room for way longer than usual.
The two-hour delay caused TV networks to get creative, so Univision provided a brief tactical breakdown of the squeegee performance by the grounds crew to get the field ready for game shape.
The game finally did restart, and it didn't take long for referee Joel Aguilar to become an enemy to Colombia. Minutes after dismissing a penalty shout after Daniel Torres appeared to be tripped, Aguilar sent off Carlos Sanchez for a foul he deemed worthy of his second yellow of the match. With Colombia going down to 10, it severely hampered its chances of a comeback.
David Ospina did what he could to keep Colombia in the game with a point-blank diving stop on Erick Pulgar, who had a clear header on target in the 65th minute.
Colombia will play the USA in Saturday's third-place game in Arizona in a rematch of the opening game of this tournament.