Shoot-out hero Bravo warns Chile against com­pla­cency

Man City keeper star of the show af­ter sav­ing three penal­ties in Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup semi win over Por­tu­gal

Afro Voice (KwaZulu Natal) - - Sport -

CLAUDIO Bravo was Chile’s hero on Wed­nes­day as they beat Por­tu­gal 3-0 in a penalty shoot-out in the Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup semi­fi­nals.

The Manch­ester City goal­keeper saved all three penal­ties from Por­tu­gal’s Ri­cardo Quaresma, Joao Moutinho and Nani, while Ar­turo Vi­dal, Charles Aran­guiz and Alexis Sanchez nailed their spot-kicks for the South Amer­i­cans.

“We are sat­is­fied with the re­sult and how we played, but we have still not won any­thing,” the 34-year-old Bravo said.

Chile progress to Sun­day’s fi­nal in St Peters­burg to face ei­ther Mex­ico or Ger­many, who met yes­ter­day in Sochi in the other semi­fi­nal.

“I’m very proud of this team. Claudio pulled off some good saves to keep us in the game,” Chile coach Juan An­to­nio Pizzi said.

“He had the abil­ity to fore­see where their play­ers would put their kicks. Now it doesn’t mat­ter who we get, we just need to re­cover for the fi­nal.”

Losers Por­tu­gal will con­test Sun­day’s third place play-off in Moscow.

Chile al­most set­tled the match in the dy­ing stages of ex­tra time when both Vi­dal and sub­sti­tute Martin Ro­driguez hit the wood­work as Por­tu­gal hung on to take the game to a shoot-out.

The de­feat in Kazan will be bit­terly dis­ap­point­ing for Por­tu­gal’s su­per­star for­ward Cris­tiano Ron­aldo.

The Real Madrid star, who is fac­ing doubts about his fu­ture in Spain as he pre­pares to an­swer al­le­ga­tions of tax eva­sion in a Madrid court next month, had won man of the match awards in all three group matches.

Be­fore kick-off in Kazan, Manch­ester City’s new sign­ing, Bernardo Silva, shook off a foot in­jury he suf­fered in the 4-0 drub­bing of New Zealand to make Por­tu­gal’s start­ing line-up.

With Pepe sus­pended, Jose Fonte part­nered Bruno Alves at cen­tre back.

Up front, AC Mi­lan’s 21-year-old striker An­dre Silva part­nered Ron­aldo, but the pair en­dured a frus­trat­ing night at the hands of Chile’s de­fence.

Chile’s coach Juan An­to­nio Pizzi named the same team which drew 1-1 with world cham­pi­ons Ger­many last Thurs­day as cen­tre-back Gary Medel and mid­fielder Aran­guiz both shook off knocks.

The game got off to a fran­tic start which de­manded early saves from both goal­keep­ers.

With just six min­utes gone, Sanchez put a su­perb pass in be­hind the de­fence, which landed just in front of Ed­uardo Var­gas, but Por­tu­gal’s goal­keeper

Rui Pa­tri­cio blocked the shot.

At the other end mo­ments later, a low Ron­aldo cross put An­dre Silva in space, but Bravo smoth­ered the ef­fort at close range.

Aran­guiz twice went close with ef­forts on the Por­tu­gal goal in the open­ing half and it was end-to-end stuff again af­ter the break.

Chile’s Var­gas forced Pa­tri­cio into an­other re­flex save, while Ron­aldo fired at Bravo when Por­tu­gal coun­ter­at­tacked im­me­di­ately. Then Vi­dal’s lon­grange ef­fort went scream­ing just high and wide of the Por­tu­gal goal. Ron­aldo sent a free kick just over and had a shot blocked as both sides at­tacked re­lent­lessly, but the scores re­mained goal­less and the game went to ex­tra time. There was no let up in the pace as Por­tu­gal’s An­dre Gomes went close while Sanchez headed Mauri­cio Isla’s cross from the left just wide of the post.

Joao Moutinho came on for Adrien Silva, who had worked tire­lessly in mid­field for Por­tu­gal, in the first pe­riod of ex­tra time.

With time al­most up, Chile had a penalty ap­peal turned down when sub­sti­tute Fran­cisco Silva ap­peared to be fouled by Fonte in the area be­fore Vi­dal, then Ro­driguez, rat­tled Por­tu­gal’s wood­work. – AFP


GREAT PER­FOR­MANCE: Chile goal­keeper Claudio Bravo.

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