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Chile stun Argentina to win first Copa America title

SANTIAGO: Chile wrecked Lionel Messi’s dream of a first international title with a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Argentina to end their 99-year wait for a CopaAmerica crown here Saturday.

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Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez struck the winning spot-kick for Chile, as the hosts clinched a 4-1 shoot-out victory when the game ended goalless after extra time.

Sanchez chipped the decisive penalty down the middle past Sergio Romero to spark wild celebrations in front of a 45,000 capacity crowd at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago.

Chile took control of the shoot-out when Gonzalo Higuain blazed his penalty over the bar before Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo saved Ever Banega’s spot-kick.

Argentina captain Messi, aiming to inspire the South American giants to a first international title in 22 years, could only look on distraught as Chile celebrated.

The four-time world footballer of the year had repeatedly spoken of his desperation to win a title with Argentina after winning everything at club level with Barcelona.

But the 28-year-old superstar was to suffer more disappointment, only 12 months after enduring another agonising extra-time defeat in last year’s World Cup final against Germany in Brazil.

Chile’s win was their first ever victory over Argentina in the Copa America.

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