2015 Copa America final: Five memorable Chile-Argentina clashes

Chile's footballers training at the Juan Pinto Duran sport complex in Santiago.
Chile's footballers training at the Juan Pinto Duran sport complex in Santiago.PHOTO: AFP
(From left) Argentina's Lionel Messi, Javier Pastore, Sergio Aguero, Nicolas Otamendi and Marcos Rojo jogging during a training session in Concepcion, Chile.
(From left) Argentina's Lionel Messi, Javier Pastore, Sergio Aguero, Nicolas Otamendi and Marcos Rojo jogging during a training session in Concepcion, Chile.PHOTO: AFP

History awaits the victor of the 2015 Copa America which pits Chile against Argentina in the Chilean capital of Santiago.

The host are aiming to end their 99-year wait for a trophy while 14-time Copa champions Argentina will be hoping to draw level with bitter rivals Uruguay, with 15 titles, as the most successful country in South America's biggest tournament.

Before Saturday's (Sunday morning in Singapore) final at the Estadio Nacional, we look back at five classic clashes between the South American neighbours.

1. 1930 World Cup (Argentina 3 Chile 1)

Chile and Argentina were one of the 13 countries that competed in the inaugural World Cup held in Uruguay.

Pitted off in Group 1, both teams notched victories over Mexico and France and met in the final match to decide who would qualify for the semi-finals.

Argentine striker Guillermo Stabile, who would finish as the tournament's top scorer, opened the scoring with a quick-fire double that sank Chile's hopes.

The game would also be remembered for a massive pitch brawl - sparked after midfield enforcer Luis Monti landed a nasty kick at Chilean Arturo Torres - that required the intervention of 30 policemen to stop.

2. 1955 Copa America (Argentina 1 Chile 0)

This was the closest Chile had come to ending their Copa America trophy drought. Tied with Argentina on seven points in this winner-takes-all encounter on home soil, the host were also playing in front of their own supporters in the 65,000-capacity Estadio Nacional Stadium.

Boasting the tournament's best attack with 19 goals from their previous four games, Chile were however, unable to break down the Argentine defence.

A 59th minute goal by striker Rodolfo Michelli, his eighth of the tournament to finish as top scorer, proved to be the difference as Argentina claimed their 10th South American title while consigning Chile to their first of four runner-up finishes in the competition.

3. 1957 Copa America (Argentina 6 Chile 2)

The Chilean team suffered one of their heaviest defeats to Argentina in this edition of the Copa.

The first-half score was 2-2 as Chile twice recovered to equalise thanks to striker Jose Fernandez. But they could not keep the Argentinians at bay after the break and conceded four goals, including a brace from Humberto Maschio who finished the tournament as joint-top scorer with Uruguay's Javier Ambrois on nine goals.

The firepower of Argentina's attack was unstoppable throughout the competition in Peru. They scored 25 times from their six matches, including a 3-0 hammering of bitter rivals Brazil.

4. October 2008, South Africa World Cup 2010 qualifier (Argentina 0 Chile 1)

The turning point in what was a one-sided rivalry. Coached by former Argentina manager Marcelo Bielsa, Chile finally overcame their winless drought against their South American neighbours.

Bielsa out-thought his opposite number Alfio Basile in this highly-charged affair in Santiago which saw Fabian Orellana grab the only goal of the match.

The winger converted a cross from the right in the 35th minute to break the deadlock before Chile held on for a memorable victory. It was the first time they had defeated Argentina in a qualifying campaign and it also marked the end of Basile's reign as he resigned two days later after this loss.

5. October 2012, Brazil World Cup 2014 qualifier (Argentina 2 Chile 1)

Lionel Messi's 28th minute goal :

Higuain's 31st minute goal:

Felipe Guiterrez injury time goal:

The most recent meeting between both sides ended in familiar fashion with Argentina coming out on top.

Twelve months after suffering a 4-1 hammering in Buenos Aires, Chile were again undone by the combination of Gonzalo Higuain and Lionel Messi.

Higuain had netted a hat-trick in that previous encounter and he was again decisive in this match in Santiago. Messi had opened the scoring in the 28th minute and the Real Madrid striker added a second three minutes later, dancing past three challenges before curling a left-footed finish into the top corner.

An injury-time goal by Chile's Felipe Gutierrez proved only a consolation for the host whose coach Claudio Borghi departed soon after.

yzchoo@sph.com.sg