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Sports

Chile beat Peru to reach Copa America final

Chile kept its hopes alive of taking home the Copa America crown for the first time with a 2-1 semi-final win over Peru on Monday. They await either Argentina or Paraguay in the final of the South American tournament.

Eduardo Vargas scored twice as hosts Chile beat rivals Peru 2-1 here Monday to reach the Copa America final and move closer to their dream of winning their first ever victory in the South American football showpiece.

Vargas, who had a terrible season on loan at relegated English Premier League side Queens Park Rangers, slammed in a stunning 64th-minute strike as the hosts reached their first Copa America final since 1987.

Vargas had given Chile a controversial lead after 42 minutes, prodding home from close range after the referee's assistant failed to spot a fractional offside.

Peru played most of the match with 10 men after Carlos Zambrano was sent off for a reckless challenge on Charles Aranguiz after 20 minutes. And yet they came back bravely to force an equalizer through a Gary Medel own goal in the 60th minute.

But Vargas, who also had a superb volleyed goal wrongly ruled out for offside early in the second half, restored Chile's lead with a contender for goal of the tournament.

The 25-year-old picked up a loose ball in midfield, surged forward and unleashed a beautiful dipping 30-yard effort that flew into the top corner past Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.

Chile will now play the winner of Tuesday's semi-final between Argentina and Paraguay.

av/jr (AP, dpa)

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