Giovani Lo Celso eased fears over his fitness following a pair of injury scares in Argentina's friendly against Chile in Los Angeles.

Tottenham loanee Lo Celso lasted until the 53rd minute of the bruising 0-0 draw, during which 10 yellow cards were handed out.

The 23-year-old was left beating the turf in anguish when Charles Aranguiz caught him above the foot with a crude studs-up tackle in the first half.

Referee Jair Marrufo opted against sanctioning the Chile midfielder for a second time, having booked him in the seventh minute.

The Argentine Football Association later suggested Lo Celso had suffered a groin problem, but the former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder provided a positive update after the match.

"It was only a blow, nothing to worry about," he said.

Lo Celso almost made the breakthrough for Argentina when he volleyed marginally wide of Claudio Bravo's goal shortly before the interval.

Inter forward Lautaro Martinez also threatened regularly but the sides could not be separated.

"We deserved a bit more. We had a lot of chances to score but it wasn't to be," Lo Celso added.

"We had a good game, generally speaking. The first half was where we had the most chances. We created some good opportunities with a lot of people in attack.

"We were up against a very tough opponent and we were up to their level."

Lionel Scaloni selected a youthful squad for the Albiceleste's first outing since the Copa America and felt the less-experienced players adapted well to the international arena.

"We wanted to give the younger players minutes," the Argentina boss said.

"With the game in progress, they usually enter much calmer. That was the idea. It makes me happy that the new players didn't notice the weight of the shirt.

"We always want to win but the important thing was the performance, which was good at times."

Argentina and Chile played out an entertaining 0-0 draw in a friendly in Los Angeles on Thursday.

In a rematch of the Copa America third-place play-off, which Argentina won, neither team was able to find a breakthrough at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Both sides were understrength and had their chances in an encounter played in front of a small crowd but with plenty of feeling.

Paulo Dybala and Lautaro Martinez squandered Argentina's best opportunities and Lucas Martinez hit the crossbar, while Cesar Pinares went closest to a breakthrough for Chile.

As the tackles flew in early – Leandro Paredes and Charles Aranguiz were booked in the opening seven minutes – Dybala fired just wide from distance in the 11th minute.

Argentina looked the more likely to open the scoring throughout the first half, going close again in the 23rd minute.

A beautiful team move saw Giovani Lo Celso play a pass into Lautaro Martinez, who teed up Dybala, but the attacker's shot from just inside the area was pushed away by Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

Aranguiz was lucky not to be sent off for Chile moments later, while Lautaro Martinez headed a corner over with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.

Chile had their best chance of the half through Aranguiz, who forced Agustin Marchesin into a diving save, while Lo Celso volleyed wide for Argentina before the break.

Pinares should have put Chile ahead on the hour-mark, only to drill an effort against the crossbar after an Eduardo Vargas cutback.

The chances continued to come and Lautaro Martinez drew a straightforward save from Bravo in the 69th minute after a brilliant flicked pass from Lucas Alario.

Substitutions disrupted the rhythm of the game, but Lucas Martinez almost scored a winner for Argentina in the 85th minute, his header clattering off the crossbar.

 

What does it mean? Argentina show decent signs without stars

Without the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria, Argentina showed some good signs, particularly in the first half. While also facing an understrength Chile, Argentina looked dangerous and should have led during the opening 45 minutes.

Lautaro Martinez continues to impress

Lautaro Martinez impressed during the Copa America and the Inter forward again looked good against Chile. Most of Argentina's best moments came through the 22-year-old, who could have scored in either half and also set up Dybala for a great opportunity.

Aranguiz can count himself lucky

Booked in the seventh minute, Aranguiz was lucky not to be sent off midway through the first half. The midfielder put in a poor studs-up challenge on Lo Celso that only led to a stern word from the referee, when a second yellow card probably should have followed.

What's next?

Argentina head to San Antonio for a friendly with Mexico on Tuesday, while Chile face Honduras in San Pedro Sula.

CONMEBOL responded to allegations of corruption as they labelled Lionel Messi's comments "unacceptable" and "unfounded" at the Copa America.

Argentina defeated Chile 2-1 in the third-place play-off on Saturday, but Messi railed against "corruption" and "a lack of respect" following his red card against the two-time reigning champions.

Messi – who was controversially dismissed in the first half after an altercation with Gary Medel – vented his frustration post-match, having criticised the officiating following Argentina's semi-final loss to hosts Brazil.

The Argentina captain's allegations angered the South American football governing body, which hit back in a statement.

"In football sometimes you win and sometimes you lose and accepting the outcome of a match with loyalty and respect is a fundamental pillar of fair play. Same goes to the refereeing decisions, that are human and will never be perfect," the statement read.

"It's unacceptable that because of incidents proper to the competitions, where 12 Nations competed in, all in equal condition, there have been unfounded accusations that misrepresent the truth and put to judgement the integrity of Copa America.

"Said accusations represent a lack of respect for the competition, all the football players involved and the hundreds of professionals of CONMEBOL, institution that since 2016 has been tirelessly working to transparent, professionalize and develop South American football."

Messi was dismissed when Chile's Medel reacted angrily to a challenge and repeatedly bumped into the Barcelona star with his chest.

Neither Medel nor Messi raised their hands and the Chile man was the clear aggressor in the incident as both players saw red.

There was a VAR check but referee Mario Diaz de Vivar did not look back at the footage on the pitch-side monitor.

When asked why he was not on the pitch for the medal ceremony, Messi told reporters: "Because we don't have to be part of this corruption, this lack of respect towards the whole Copa."

Messi added: "I always tell the truth. That leaves me calm. Then, if what I say has repercussions, it is not to do with me as I am always sincere."

Lionel Messi's red card in Argentina's 2-1 win over Chile at the Copa America bemused head coach Lionel Scaloni, who defended the country's captain.

Argentina ended their Copa America campaign with a bronze medal after overcoming Chile in Saturday's third-place play-off, however, the result was overshadowed by Messi's controversial dismissal.

Messi and Gary Medel both saw red in the first half after the Chile midfielder reacted angrily to a challenge and repeatedly bumped into the five-time Ballon d'Or winner with his chest.

Afterwards, Messi railed against "corruption" and "a lack of respect" following his decision to snub the medal ceremony at Arena Corinthians, having been critical of the officiating in the aftermath of Argentina's semi-final loss to hosts Brazil.

Asked about Messi's red card, Scaloni told reporters: "I have seen the video and so far, I do not understand what he did to have been expelled.

"It would be interesting if the referee came out to public to speak exactly what he saw and also the men of the VAR.

"Obviously, he made a very quick decision, very strange, and worst of all is that the VAR does not correct, because for this there is the VAR. The VAR is here to help, and today it did not help."

Scaloni added: "We have already seen a few times expulsions in which the referee returns in the decision and shows the yellow card. This is what should have happened in this case.

"If you look well, Messi did nothing. Well, they did not go back on the decision, they did not review it. I think the criterion is very strange. The other day Uruguay, I think it was by the nail of the foot, by the finger of Cavani pointed offside. They reviewed the video 55 times to try to justify, and with our team, everything that is against, is not reviewed.

"Not a good feeling, honestly. I do not want to think badly, but the feeling does not convince me. It does not convince our team, nor the Chileans, that we play today, Uruguay... There were many teams that had a bad feeling about this matter, and we were the most harmed because today we would be speaking in another situation."

Lionel Messi claimed Argentina were superior to Brazil and deserved to be in the Copa America final as the superstar insisted "football was not fair" to La Albiceleste.

Messi was controversially sent off in the first half as Argentina defeated Chile 2-1 in Saturday's third-place play-off at Arena Corinthians.

Argentina, who lost 2-0 to hosts Brazil in the semi-final, received the bronze medal but Messi did not appear with his team-mates during the presentation as the captain railed against "corruption" and "a lack of respect".

Messi continued to be vocal post-match, however, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner believes the future is bright for Argentina.

"We leave this Cup with a triumph but above all with our heads up and with the feeling that this time football was not fair with us," Messi said in an Instagram post.

"For what we played and because we were superior to Brazil, we deserved to be in the final tomorrow.

"But we have to look forward and with optimism because there is a future and a very large base in this team and we just have to give time."

Messi was dismissed when Chile's Gary Medel reacted angrily to a challenge and repeatedly bumped into the Barcelona star with his chest.

Neither Medel nor Messi raised their hands and the Chile man was the clear aggressor in the incident as both players saw red.

There was a VAR check but referee Mario Diaz de Vivar did not look back at the footage on the pitch-side monitor.

Messi blasted the officiating at the Copa America after Argentina were eliminated by Brazil in the final four in a match in which Lionel Scaloni's side had two penalty appeals that went unchecked by VAR.

He suggested the red card had been punishment for those comments, saying: "With a yellow card it would have been over for both of us, but, well, maybe I'm paying for what I said last time."

With Brazil set to face Peru in Sunday's decider, Messi added: "Hopefully, the referees and VAR won't influence it and they'll let Peru compete, but that looks difficult to me."

Messi said: "I always tell the truth. That leaves me calm. Then, if what I say has repercussions, it is not to do with me as I am always sincere."

Lionel Messi railed against "corruption" and "a lack of respect" at the Copa America following Argentina's win over Chile in the bronze medal match.

Messi was sent off, along with Gary Medel, after an altercation in the first half of a tempestuous meeting at Arena Corinthians.

After the match, which Argentina won 2-1 thanks to first-half goals from Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala before Arturo Vidal scored a penalty, Messi did not appear with his team-mates to collect his medal.

When asked why he was not on the pitch for the ceremony, he told reporters: "Because we don't have to be part of this corruption, this lack of respect towards the whole Copa."

Messi was dismissed when Medel reacted angrily to a challenge and repeatedly bumped into the Barcelona star with his chest. Neither Medel nor Messi raised their hands and the Chile man was the clear aggressor in the incident.

There was a VAR check but referee Mario Diaz de Vivar did not look back at the footage on the pitch-side monitor.

Messi blasted the officiating at the tournament after Argentina lost to hosts Brazil in the semi-finals in a match in which Lionel Scaloni's side had two penalty appeals that went unchecked by VAR.

He suggested the red card had been punishment for those comments, saying: "With a yellow card it would have been over for both of us, but, well, maybe I'm paying for what I said last time.

"The important thing is that the team finished the tournament well. We do not have get caught up in the lack of respect that happened here.

"I leave calmly, with my head high and proud of this group, who gave everything. I hope that this group is respected – it has a lot to give.

"The group showed a lot of personality. It's not easy to start with a defeat [against Colombia] and then drawing [against Paraguay] – that made us stronger and we finished in a very positive way.

"They could have reviewed the sending off, but VAR was not used."

Looking ahead to the final between the Tite's men and Peru, Messi said: "Hopefully, the referees and VAR won't influence it and they'll let Peru compete, but that looks difficult to me."

He added: "I always tell the truth. That leaves me calm. Then, if what I say has repercussions, it is not to do with me as I am always sincere."

Lionel Messi was sent off as Argentina beat Chile 2-1 to clinch Copa America bronze with both sides reduced to 10 men in an ill-tempered clash at Arena Corinthians.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner appeared to be the victim of shoving by Chile's Gary Medel, but the referee sent both players off after 37 minutes with Argentina already two goals to the good.

Messi provided the assist for Sergio Aguero's 12th-minute opener before Juventus forward Paulo Dybala doubled Argentina's lead, but the first half ended with protests against the contentious red cards.

There were 21 fouls before the break and sparks continued to fly as Chile were awarded a penalty just before the hour, Arturo Vidal scoring from the spot.

Reinaldo Rueda's men failed to force an equaliser, but there was time for two further bookings that took the tally of cards shown to eight at the end of an explosive encounter.

Aguero lashed a shot narrowly wide after seven minutes but made amends moments later when Messi's nonchalant free-kick picked out the Manchester City striker, who rounded Gabriel Arias before slotting home from a tight angle.

Chile's Alexis Sanchez limped off clutching his hamstring before Arias made a diving save from an 18-yard Messi drive but was beaten again when Dybala controlled Giovani Lo Celso's throughball and chipped over the goalkeeper from the edge of the six-yard box.

Dybala sent a flying volley just wide before a volatile first half turned nasty when Medel pushed Messi around the pitch only for the referee to send both players off amid vociferous complaints on all sides. 

The second half began with a a penalty claim, Charles Aranguiz appearing to bundle Aguero over in the box, but the referee saw no foul.

He awarded a penalty to Chile when Lo Celso slid in late on Aranguiz and Vidal lashed the spot-kick straight down the middle.

Lionel Scaloni sent on Angel Di Maria for Dybala and the winger embarked on a mazy dribble past several Chile players before selling Aguero slightly short with his final ball and the striker fired tamely at Arias with the last clear chance of the game.

 

What does it mean? Scaloni's future remains hopeful

Argentina's failure to reach the final left Scaloni under pressure and his contract is up at the end of the year, but avoiding defeat here will have taken some of the heat of the Albiceleste coach.

Dybala looking dangerous

Reportedly a transfer target for Manchester United, Paulo Dybala did his chances of earning a lucrative move away from Juventus no harm with a lively performance and a well-taken goal.

Pulgar lucky to stay on

On a night when the referee was struggling to keep order, Erick Pulgar was lucky to escape with just a booking after throwing himself into several rash challenges.

What's next?

Chile will have the opportunity for revenge when the two sides meet in September in a game that looks likely to make a mockery of the term 'friendly'.

Lionel Messi was sent-off after 37 minutes of Argentina's Copa America clash with Chile for his part in an altercation with Besiktas defender Gary Medel.

Tempers flared throughout the first-half of the third place play-off and Medel retaliated following a challenge from Messi by appearing to aim a headbutt before repeatedly pushing his chest into the five-time Ballon d'Or winner's body.

The pair continued to charge each other until referee Mario Diaz de Vivar produced straight red cards, sparking protests from both teams.

Those complaints continued after the half-time whistle was blown, with Argentina leading 2-0 courtesy of goals from Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala.

Messi, who provided the assist for Aguero's opener, was making his 27th appearance for Argentina in the Copa America, surpassing Javier Mascherano to become the most capped Albiceleste player in the competition's history.

The 32-year-old was furious after Argentina's previous game - a 2-0 semi-final defeat to Brazil - for what he perceived to be poor refereeing decisions, branding the officiating "bull****".

Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez suffered an injury in Chile's clash with Argentina at the Copa America, leaving the field after just 16 minutes.

The 30-year-old's appearance in the third place play-off was shortlived and he appeared to be clutching his hamstring as he walked to the Chile bench.

Sanchez is reportedly on his way out of Old Trafford after scoring just five goals in all competitions for the club since his arrival from Arsenal in January.

Goals against Japan and Ecuador helped to put Sanchez in the shop window before their semi-final defeat to Peru, with clubs in the Chinese Super League and Major League Soccer reported to be tracking the former Barcelona man.

Chile found themselves 2-0 down to goals from Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala.

Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni insisted he has already passed a major test of leadership ahead of his team's Copa America third-place play-off against Chile.

After several years of chopping and changing managers, Argentina were hopeful Scaloni would lead them to trophy glory in Brazil to prove without any doubt he is the right man for the job.

He was appointed last year in the wake of Argentina's World Cup failure, when Jorge Sampaoli was in charge.

At the Copa, however, Argentina missed out after losing 2-0 to hosts Brazil in the semi-finals and inevitably that led to questions being asked of Scaloni's leadership.

He addressed that issue on Friday, saying: "I do not feel as though I am on trial. I think my test has already passed. Bringing these players and making them play was my test, and I did it. What we came to do, we did."

Scaloni believes he has selected the best available squad for Argentina and said: "These players will be the future of the national team, whoever the coach is."

His contract runs until the end of the year, and it might help Scaloni's prospects of a longer run at the job if Argentina can deliver an assured performance on Saturday at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo.

"The match with Chile is important," said Scaloni. "We want to finish in the best way possible. Everyone is motivated."

The match is a repeat of the 2015 and 2016 final, both of which Chile won on penalties after goalless draws.

Chile's Colombian coach Reinaldo Rueda looked back to the title match of three years ago, saying both teams are now in a new era.

Arturo Vidal is a major doubt for the game, Rueda revealed, saying the Barcelona midfielder's sprained ankle needed to be cared for. "But we know his character and his desire to be out there," Rueda added.

The former Honduras and Ecuador boss saw Chile lose 3-0 to Peru in their last-four game and, like Scaloni, he wants to leave Brazil on a winning note.

"It is an important match in every sense," Rueda said. "For dignity, pride and for wanting to finish well in a tournament at which something we achieved something important."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Argentina - Lionel Messi

Messi was furious with the officiating in Argentina's semi-final defeat, reflecting the mood of a nation after two possible penalties were turned down and not referred to VAR. If he plays, will the Barcelona superstar be in the mood to take out his frustration on Chile? Messi has suggested he is ready to play on at least until next year's Copa America, which Argentina are co-hosting with Colombia, so this is not likely to be a farewell game.

Chile - Alexis Sanchez

While his Manchester United team-mates prepare to jet off to Australia on tour, Sanchez is finishing off his campaign in Brazil. The man who has flattered to deceive at Old Trafford could give United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a close-season boost by signing off from this tournament with a stirring performance - and he could still finish as the Copa America's outright top scorer given he is one of 13 players tied for the lead on two goals.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- Argentina have won 59 of their 88 meetings against Chile in all competitions (D23 L6).
- Argentina lost on the only previous occasion they played in a third-place play-off in a Copa America tournament, beaten 2-1 by Colombia in 1987.
- This will be the first third-place play-off between two teams that have faced each other before in a Copa America final.
- Chile and Argentina lost their semi-final games against Peru and Brazil, respectively, despite having attempted 10 shots more than their opponents (Chile 19-9 Peru; Argentina 14-4 Brazil).
- Chile's Charles Aranguiz has created the most chances (17) in the 2019 Copa America; at least four more than any other player.

Peru captain Paolo Guerrero called for the surprise Copa America finalists to be shown more respect following their commanding 3-0 semi-final triumph over defending champions Chile.

Edison Flores and Yoshimar Yotun scored in the opening period before Guerrero added a third in second-half stoppage time to send Peru through to the decider for the first time in 44 years.

Ricardo Gareca's men, who ousted Uruguay on penalties in the previous round, now face Brazil at the Maracana on Sunday.

The host nation romped to a 5-0 victory when the teams met in the group stage, but Internacional striker Guerrero thinks recent results should bring more recognition for a team that reached the last World Cup.

"The team is making history," Guerrero said. "I'm proud of my team-mates. We concentrated, we worked hard and we are in the final. It's going to be a very difficult final.

"I respect Brazil a lot and I am happy [playing for my club] here but in football there are no favourites, and we showed that again today.

"We won convincingly when others talked about Chile. Those people have to have more respect.

"If Brazil want to call themselves favourites then they can call themselves favourites, but on the field we do not think about that.

"We have to do our work with a lot of humility, as always."

Peru have won the Copa America twice previously, in 1939 and 1975, but will arrive in Rio de Janeiro as firm outsiders against eight-time champions Brazil.

However, head coach Gareca is quietly confident of upstaging another South American powerhouse.

"I think we have great players that can surprise in a match of that level," the Blanquirroja boss said.

"We will attack the strengths of the team, because you know that talking individually about each Brazil player is not the best way.

"I trust my players. We are capable of finding the answer on how to win."

Reinaldo Rueda, meanwhile, admitted Chile may have looked too far ahead in their bid for a third successive continental title.

"Maybe we were thinking about playing the final without having solved the semi-final," he said.

Chile's hopes of winning a third successive Copa America are over after a heavy 3-0 defeat against an impressive Peru in Porto Alegre on Wednesday.

First-half goals from Edison Flores and Yoshimar Yotun, along with Paolo Guerrero's late sealer, dashed La Roja's dreams of equalling Argentina's record of three consecutive continental triumphs and sent Peru through to their first final since 1975.

Though they only reached the knockout rounds as one of the group stage's two best third-placed teams, Ricardo Gareca's Peru were superior throughout and now face hosts Brazil in Sunday's decider at the Maracana.

Chile's humiliation was complete when Eduardo Vargas dinked a penalty straight to Pedro Gallese at the death.

An entertaining start saw Christian Cueva and Charles Aranguiz poke wide with good opportunities at either end.

Peru settled quickest and punished a disorganised Chile defence in the 20th minute.

Andre Carrillo nodded on Cueva's right-sided delivery and winger Flores made no mistake at the back post.

Gabriel Arias was at fault for the second 18 minutes later, the goalkeeper failing to beat Carrillo to a loose ball and leaving his goal exposed for Yotun to skilfully control and volley home a high cross.

Peru lost Flores to an innocuous ankle injury five minutes into the second half and narrowly avoided another setback when Vargas' glancing header struck the left post.

A well-worked counter should have brought the sealer on the hour, but Yotun ballooned his finish over a gaping target.

Gallese then produced three important stops to keep the two-goal margin intact and, after Guerrero coolly slotted away the third in the 91st minute, denied Chile a consolation.

Luis Abram's rash challenge sent Vargas to the spot in stoppage time but the striker's Panenka met goalkeeper Gallese's outstretched arm.

 

What does it mean? Expectation descends on Selecao

If there was not already enough pressure on Brazil to lift the trophy in their own backyard, the belief of local fans is set to ratchet up further.

Peru last reached the final 44 years ago and the prospect of facing an inexperienced – albeit clearly talented – opponent is sure to sit comfortably with Tite's team.

Cueva exudes class in attack

Though he squandered a promising early opportunity, Krasnodar's Cueva more than made amends by designing Peru's opener.

The attacking midfielder forged a dangerous partnership with centre-forward Paolo Guerrero that gave Chile constant headaches.

Arias all at sea for crucial second

Chile had limited the damage of a poor first half until shot-stopper Arias ventured well outside his area before the break.

Retreating defenders were unable to account for an error in judgement that condemned Reinaldo Rueda's side to defeat.

What's next?

Two-time Copa America winners Peru will hope to upstage Brazil in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, while Chile meet Argentina in the third-place play-off a day earlier.

Arturo Vidal is adamant Peru's pre-tournament punishment of Chile will have no psychological impact on their Copa America semi-final encounter on Wednesday.

Emboldened by a recent World Cup appearance, Peru stormed to a rare and impressive 3-0 victory over La Roja in a friendly in Florida in October.

Enzo Roco's own goal and two late strikes from Pedro Aquino made for a surprise result that ended Vidal's run of six successive victories in the fixture.

Experienced utility player Mauricio Isla and centre-backs Gary Medel and Guillermo Maripan also took to the pitch that day and are set to form three quarters of Chile's defence under decidedly more pressure in Porto Alegre.

But with a third successive Copa America crown firmly in view, Barcelona midfielder Vidal insists the present is all that matters.

"First, this is not about revenge for us," Vidal said.

"The friendly matches are to tune up for the national team, to see how the players are.

"Whatever happened against Peru is common in football and we don't have any hard feelings against them.

"This game is different, a semi-final, and it would be historic for us to reach the final. That is our only goal."

Chile remained on track to defend their status as South American champions by squeezing past Colombia on penalties in the last eight.

Peru, who only reached the knockout rounds as one of the group stage's best third-placed teams, upset Uruguay on spot-kicks last time out and are now 90 minutes away from a showpiece clash against either Argentina or hosts Brazil.

"We're in the right condition to tackle this kind of match," said head coach Ricardo Gareca.

"Maybe it's a bigger match than the others before but we can play better."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Chile - Charles Aranguiz

Bayer Leverkusen's Aranguiz, like Vidal, is one yellow card away from a suspension at the Copa America, meaning the combative midfielder will need to be careful in Porto Alegre. Naturally aggressive in his attempts to win back the ball, it will be fascinating to observe whether a player described as "one of the best in the world" by Vidal curbs his instincts.

Peru - Pedro Gallese

Peru have advanced deep into the tournament despite scoring in only one of their four matches. Continue any further and goalkeeper Gallese will surely be anointed a national hero. He crucially denied Luis Suarez in the shoot-out triumph over Uruguay and could have a big say on the semi-final.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- Chile have beaten Peru in eight of their 20 Copa America meetings (D6 L6); in all competitions, Chile have won 44 of their 80 games against Peru (D14 L22).

- Peru have kept a clean sheet in each of their last three Copa America knockout games (W1 D2), last conceding in such a match in their 2015 semi-final loss to Chile.

- Chile have been eliminated once in five previous appearances in the Copa America semi-finals (against Uruguay in 1999), while Peru have come unstuck in five of their previous six appearances at this stage.

- Eduardo Vargas has scored 38 international goals for La Roja, including a career-high seven against Peru.

Arturo Vidal holds no concerns about Barcelona pursuing Neymar as the Brazilian's return to Camp Nou reportedly edges closer.

Reports in Spain indicate the two parties are growing increasingly optimistic of pushing through an agreement with Paris Saint-Germain.

The 27-year-old enjoyed four successful seasons in his first stint at Camp Nou but questions have been raised about the wisdom of a reunion.

Ex-Barca boss Pep Guardiola pondered whether Neymar would return as the "same person" but midfielder Vidal, who is away on Copa America duty with Chile, is not about to question his club's decisions.

"I am already playing with the best in Barcelona, and if Barcelona want Neymar that is none of my business," Vidal said.

"I am focused on the national team, on trying to win this tournament, then to get some rest.

"There are people in Barcelona in charge of those matters."

Vidal and Chile, winners of the past two Copa America tournaments, are preparing for a crunch semi-final date with Peru in Porto Alegre.

The dynamic former Bayern Munich man and team-mate Charles Aranguiz will have to be on their best behaviour after each picked up a yellow card in the quarter-final victory Colombia.

Another on Wednesday would mean a suspension for the final, should favourites Chile overcome their less experienced opponents.

Vidal said: "Neither me nor Charles are worried about our bookings.

"If we have to give our lives out there, if we have to risk another yellow card we will do it.

"Our most important goal is to produce the best game in this tournament for the team so we can reach the final."

Reinaldo Rueda suggested being with Chile has galvanised Alexis Sanchez after the much-maligned forward converted the winning penalty against Colombia in the Copa America quarter-finals.

Sanchez, whose Manchester United future remains in doubt, dispatched the decisive spot-kick after a tight 90 minutes in Sao Paulo finished goalless.

The 30-year-old was earlier involved in two Chile goals overturned by VAR as he continued a strong tournament showing that has included strikes against Japan and Ecuador during the group stage.

Those goals equalled his season tally for United and Sanchez will hope good form in Brazil marks the beginning of a career revival, his end to the last campaign having been blighted by fitness problems.

"The relationships, the knowledge, the little groups that exist in this team, with Arturo [Vidal], with Mauricio [Isla], and with all of them that have been together a long time... there are good memories [for Sanchez]," Rueda said.

"The national team means everything to him. I believe he brings great integrity.

"And about his football, we know he's not at his best level, because he's been practically injured for six months, but he is helping us a lot at the moment."

Sanchez capitalised on William Tesillo's miss for Colombia as Chile converted all five of their spot-kicks.

Head coach Rueda commended his players for keeping their cool after technology twice denied them the breakthrough during normal time.

"It generates certain feelings of frustration after a goal is celebrated and then we have to accept the contrary decision," he said.

"But it is something we have to adapt to. Many decisions have gone against us, hopefully some will be in our favour as well.

"The best part was that the group did not lose concentration, balance and mental control over these situations."

Vidal, scorer of one of the two disallowed goals, added: "We deserved to win it in the 90 minutes, but it was not possible.

"We dominated almost the whole match, we played a great match against a great team."

Page 1 of 5
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.