Colombia (+181) vs Chile (+204), Draw (+204)
Perhaps the best matchup to date at the 2016 Copa America will go this evening when Colombia (2-1-1) meet Chile (3-1-0) in the second semifinal of the tournament at Soldier Field in Chicago (8:00 PM Eastern).
Colombia started the Copa America strong with a 2-0 win over Team USA and a 2-1 victory over Paraguay. They looked a little off in a 3-2 loss to Costa Rica, though, and needed penalties to get by Peru in the quarters. They didn’t put their best foot forward in either game and now it’s reasonable to question which Colombian side will show up for the semis.
On paper, the Colombians have one of the best teams in South America, especially in terms of offensive talent (see James Rodriguez, Juan Cuadrado, and Carlos Bacca). If they play the way they did in their first two fixtures, they should find chances and space against a Chilean team that also likes to attack.
A win today would put Colombia in their first final since 2001.
Chile are the current Copa America champs, having won the 2015 tournament on home soil. In this year’s quarters, they proved their 2015 win wasn’t just about home-field advantage, stomping Mexico 7-0. Chile’s pressure was too much to handle for the Mexicans; in reality, the result could have been even more embarrassing if Chile didn’t miss a few chances.
They aren’t going to rout Colombia the same way, but should come in with a lot of confidence.
There hasn’t been anything to separate these two sides in their most recent meetings. In South America’s 2018 World Cup qualifiers, they played to a 1-1 draw, their second draw in as many games. Expect the same to happen in the semifinals with the winner coming off penalty kicks.
Pick: Draw (+204).
(Photo Credit: Copa2014.gov.br, CC BY 3.0 br [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/br/deed.en], via Wikimedia Commons.)