CHILE CRUISE INTO CONFED CUP FINALS AFTER BEATING PORTUGAL ON PENALTIES 3-0

CLAUDIO BRAVO produced a masterclass in the Confederations Cup semi-final after he saved all three of Portugal’s and denied Cristiano Ronaldo the chance to take a kick.

The South American giants secured their place in the final against either Germany or Mexico as they won 3-0 in the shootout after the game finished 0-0 in Russia.

Despite both sides going into the second half on level terms, either counry could have broke the deadlock inside the first ten minutes of the match.

Former QPR forward Eduardo Vargas was sent through on goal by Alexis Sanchez, but he was denied by Rui Patricio in the sixth minute.

Dithering whether to shoot early or not, the 27-year-old eventually chose to elect to strike with his right foot instead of his left which ultimately proved costly.

Then just a minute later, the Euro 2016 winners should have gone in front when AC Milan striker Andre Silva missed a sitter from outside the six-yard box.

The 21-year-old was played in beautifully by a delightful Ronaldo pass from the left flank, but his first-time effort was saved well low down by Bravo.

Chile again almost grabbed the first goal of the match when Charles Aramguiz’s header went a yard wide of the post after being found by Mauricio Isla in the 28th minute.

Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal spurred the first chance of the second half, but he notched his header over the bar after former FA Cup winner Jean Beausejour found him with a cross.

Vargas then came close yet again for the Copa America champions – his acrobatic volley was parried away by Patricio in the 57th minute.

Then it was Ronaldo who was stung the hands of Bravo – shifting the ball on his left foot, he arrowed in a drive on goal that went straight at the Manchester City goalkeeper.

Vidal was beginning to have a greater influence on the match, and almost found the back of the net with a 30-yard thunderbolt which went just over the top left corner.

Andre Silva was substituted in the second half, and was booked in the first half for complaining about this challenge

Ronaldo was unlucky not to see the net bulge in the 71st minute, when his shot from the edge of the box struck against a Chile man before looping just wide of the left post.

The game went to extra-time after a goalless 90 minutes of action, and it was Sanchez’s turn to believe he grabbed the opener.

His effort in the 95th looked certain to creep into the bottom left corner, but the ball bounced just past the post much to the disappointment of the Arsenal marksman.

Chile should have been awarded a penalty in the 113th minute when Jose Fonte fouled Francisco Silva, only for the referee to believe the midfielder dived.

Somehow the South Americans failed to score when they hit the woodwork not once, but twice, when Vidal struck the post only for Martin Rodriguez to hit the bar from the follow-up in the 119th minute.

Sanchez then had a shot blocked that looked destined to be creeping in as they frantically searched for a winner in the closing stages of the match.

So the game went to penalties and Vidal dispatched the first spot-kick low into the bottom left corner before Ricardo Quaresma saw his effort saved in the same corner.

Aranguiz then made it 2-0 to Chile, with Monaco man Joao Moutinho then missing his penalty stopped again in the bottom left corner.

Sanchez then sent Patricio the wrong way, with Bravo this time stopping from Nani who aimed to find the bottom right corner.

Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t even take a spot-kick in the semi-final match-up after all his team-mates failed to score before he could even step up to the spot.

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