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MOSCOW, June 28. /TASS/. The main time of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup semifinal match on Wednesday night in Russia’s Kazan between teams Chile and Portugal ended with scoreless 0-0 draw, which remained unchanged after two takes of the overtime period. The Chileans, however, eventually recorded an impressive 3-0 win in the penalty shootout to secure the berth in the final match of the tournament this Sunday.
The match at the over 41,500-seat capacity Kazan Arena in the capital of the Russian republic of Tatarstan boosted off at 9:00 p.m. local time (18:00 GMT) and was the fourth international fixture between Portugal and Chile.
"We have deserved the victory as we had more of the scoring moments," Chile’s Head Coach Juan Antonio Pizzi told a news conference after the match.
"Of course, the luck plays an important part, but it is nothing in football as we had been preparing hard for this encounter," the head coach of the Chilean team said adding that: "We played with our hearts, showed the determination and aimed for implementing the game strategy for the match."
The European team had been undefeated in its meetings against Chile until tonight boasting two victories and one draw during their past encounters.
The opening ten minutes of the match yielded plenty of excitement for football fans as both teams offered numerous chances to score the opener in their aggressive offences on opponent’s goal.
Having tested each other on the offensive in the opening ten minutes of the first half of the game, both teams seemed to be more cautious in the following minutes, but Chile was the first to be handed a yellow card into 24th minute, when defender Gonzalo Jara tried to steal the ball from Andre Silva from behind and after they were both falling down he stepped on the right foot of Portugal’s forward.
Six minutes later Portugal was also handed a yellow card after its midfielder William delivered a hard push in the back of Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal.
Portugal’s Andre Silva was penalized with another yellow card for his team less than three minutes remaining before the break as he emotionally voiced his disagreement in regard to one of the match’s referees.
One minute of the added time in the first half changed nothing and saw both teams retreating to their locker rooms for the break with scoreless 0-0 draw flashing on the large screens of Kazan Arena.
Official statistics showed that Chile had the ball possession advantage of 56 percent compared to 44 percent of Portugal in the first half of the match, while the Portuguese side had seven attempts on the opponent’s goal against four from Chile.
The first quarter of an hour into the second half seemed as a replay of the opening 45-minute period of the match as both teams exchanged cutting-edge attacks on each other’s goal nets, which were saved for the most part by the momentous reaction of their goalkeepers.
Although the tensions mounted between the two teams in the closing minutes of the second half, the teams of Chile and Portugal had to take another break as they went into the overtime period to determine one of the two contenders seeking to grab the much coveted Confederations Cup trophy.
It was the UEFA Champs, Portugal, to be booked with another yellow card in the overtime first 10-minute stretch as the card was handed to defender Jose Fonte into 96th minute of the tightly-contested semifinal game.
The teams left the pitch of Kazan Arena for a short break before the second part of the overtime period again with 0-0 flashing on the scoreboard. The next stretch of the overtime decider saw another yellow card for Portugal’s defender Cedric and still ended with 0-0 draw.
During the penalty shootout after the overtime, Chile’s goaltender Claudio Bravo blocked four shots out five for his squad, while his teammates scored almost all of their offensive chances kicking the ball into the net of the Portuguese team three times sealing the final score of 3-0 in their favor.
Chile’s hero of the game Bravo, who was also named the Man of the Match by FIFA and awarded the relevant trophy, said after the match: "I was injured for quite some time and it was not easy."
"However, today we had a special match as we qualified for the final game of the tournament, and we are very glad about that," the Chilean goalkeeper said after the match.
Speaking about the saves during the penalty shootout he said it was not an accident as "one should work really hard to achieve such result and learn the opponents’ moves."
"I really did know what to do during the penalty shootout," Bravo, who is also the captain of the Chilean side, added.
The Chilean side again recorded the prevailing figure of 56 percent ball possession in the second half and the following overtime’s two stretches marked the same figure again in favor of the CONMEBAL champions.
Tonight’s match in the capital of the republic of Tatarstan was attended among other football guests by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko as well as famous former international football players, such as former Portuguese international Maniche, 2018 FIFA World Cup ambassador Alexey Smertin and former Canadian goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc.
Playing in Group A, the UEFA champions Portugal or often referred to as the Lusitanians, first enjoyed 2-2 draw against Mexico, then went past by hosts Russia 1-0 and then creamed team New Zealand with 4-0 win.
Group B’s Chile began its victorious path to the semi-final stage with 2-0 victory over Cameroon, then finished the match against Germany with 1-1 draw and afterwards secured another 1-1 draw against Australia.
In the other semi-final match of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, reigning world champions Germany will take on team Mexico on Thursday, June 29, at Fisht Stadium in Russia’s southern resort city of Sochi. The game is scheduled to begin at 9:00 p.m. local time (18:00 GMT).
The match for the third place of this tournament will be held at Spartak Arena in Moscow on Sunday, July 2, at 3:00 p.m. Moscow time (12:00 GMT), while the final encounter for the champion’s title is scheduled to start at 9:00 p.m. local time (18:00 GMT) in Russia’s second largest city of Saint Petersburg, which was also the venue for the opening game of this championship.
This year’s FIFA Confederations Cup is held between June 17 and July 2 at four stadiums in Russia and they are Spartak Stadium in Moscow, St. Petersburg Stadium, Fisht Stadium in Sochi and the Kazan Arena in Kazan.
Initially, the participants in the 2017 Confederations Cup were hosts Russia, 2014 FIFA World Cup Champions Germany, 2015 Copa America Champions Chile, 2015 AFC Asian Cup Champion Australia, 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup winners Mexico, 2016 UEFA Euro Cup champs Portugal, OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) Nations Cup victors New Zealand and 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations Champion Cameroon.