Confederations Cup 2017: Shootout hero Claudio Bravo helps Chile reach final | football | Hindustan Times
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Confederations Cup 2017: Shootout hero Claudio Bravo helps Chile reach final

Claudio Bravo made three straight saves in a penalty shootout to help Chile advance into final of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup on Wednesday. They’ll now face the winner of the second semi-final between Germany and Mexico.

football Updated: Jun 29, 2017 08:34 IST
Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo saved three successive penalties as Chile advanced into final of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup with a 3-0 win over Portugal on Wednesday.
Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo saved three successive penalties as Chile advanced into final of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup with a 3-0 win over Portugal on Wednesday. (Getty Images)

Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo saved three successive penalties to give them a 3-0 shootout win over Portugal after their Confederations Cup semi-final had ended goalless on Wednesday. (Highlights)

Bravo stopped Portugal’s first three spot kicks from Ricardo Quaresma, Joao Moutinho and Nani while Chile converted their first three kicks to win the clash of South American and European champions.

That meant that Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo, who usually goes last in the shootout, did not get to take a kick.

(Read | Confederations Cup: Mexico wary of Germany’s young guns in semis)

The result was justice for Chile after they hit the woodwork with two successive shots in the dying seconds of extra time.

There was also controversy shortly before that when Chile winger Alexis Sanchez went down in the box under a Jose Fonte tackle but the referee did not consult the Video Assistant Referees (VARs), even though contact seemed to be made.

Bravo has been criticised for his club form with Manchester City this season but he was Chile’s hero alongside Arturo Vidal who gave another inspired and tireless performance in midfield.

Chile will face either Germany or Mexico, who meet on Thursday, in Sunday’s final in St Petersburg to close an exhausting two weeks.

The game only came to life in exasperating patches.

(Read | FIFA discloses damaging Garcia report detailing Russia and Qatar World Cup bids)

The first six minutes promised a feast as Chile forward Eduardo Vargas had an excellent chance blocked by Rui Patricio, then Andre Silva’s close-range effort was smothered by Bravo at the other end after he was set up by Ronaldo.

Vargas provided the high point of the second half when he flicked the ball up with his back to goal and then fired in a brilliant overhead shot which Rui Patricio saved.

Ronaldo had several second-half chances.

One effort was parried by Bravo, then he sent a long-range free kick high and wide, then had a shot deflected wide and then missed the target with a header from Cedric Soares’ cross.

Sanchez was largely kept under wraps and Chile’s record scorer did not have his first sniff of goal until early in extra time when his header from Mauricio Isla’s cross curled away from the goal.