Chile retained the Copa America with a 4-2 victory over Argentina on penalties as the sides drew 0-0 after extra time at MetLife Stadium.
In a repeat final of last year when Chile also won on spot kicks both teams finished with 10 men in a bad-tempered clash as Argentina’s Marcos Rojo and Chile’s Marcelo Diaz saw red in the first half.
Lionel Messi and Lucas Biglia missed penalties for Argentina in the shootout to hand Chile their second Copa title and La Albiceleste have now gone 23 years without a major title.
The early stages had a physical element to them with Messi and Angel Di Maria both being victims of heavy challenges as Chile looked to make their presence felt.
Diaz became the first of seven players to go into the book for a rash challenge on Messi 35 yards out in the 17th minute. Messi’s tame free-kick was then easily gathered by Claudio Bravo.
Quick feet from Di Maria created an inch of space for himself but he sliced his shot at goal over the bar.
Gonzalo Higuain then had a wonderful opportunity to open the scoring in the 23rd minute, bursting clear of the Chile defence but as Bravo held his ground, Higuain poked his shot wide.
Argentina were enjoyed the bulk of possession – and chances – and Nicolas Otamendi glanced a header wide from a Messi free-kick.
Chile were reduced to 10 men in the 28th minute when Diaz was harshly shown a second yellow card for blocking Messi.
Bravo then had to sprawl across his goal to turn away another effort from Di Maria as Argentina continued to dominate the game.
Argentina’s Javier Mascherano and Chile’s Arturo Vidal were booked after some pushing and shoving in the penalty box and moments later Messi followed them into the book for diving under minimal contact from a Chile defender.
And three minutes before the break La Albiceleste were reduced to 10 men themselves when Rojo was shown a straight red card after going through the back of Vidal.
Higuain was again presented with a great chance in the 56th minute but his turn and shot from 10 yards out did not test Bravo.
Messi picked out substitute Sergio Aguero with 16 minutes of normal time remaining but the Manchester City frontman blazed his effort high and wide.
Sergio Romero was called on to make his first save of the game after 79 minutes as Eduardo Vargas escaped down the right but shot straight at the goalkeeper from an acute angle.
Aguero then fired another effort well over the bar as the game went into extra time.
Copa final xG map. Argentina played a near-perfect defensive game but failed to convert their occasional chances. pic.twitter.com/GWyFGZPpUd— Michael Caley (@MC_of_A) June 27, 2016
Romero had to be sharp in the first period of extra time to pluck Vargas’ diving header out of the air then at the other end Bravo pulled off a brilliant save to tip Aguero’s header over the bar.
The sides could not be separated in the second period of extra time and the game went to a shootout where Vidal saw Romero save his attempt.
Messi blasted high and wide and Bravo saved Biglia’s kick leaving Francisco to fire home the winning penalty and give Chile a second straight title.