NELSPRUIT, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 16: Chile players celebrate victory in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group H match between Honduras and Chile at the Mbombela Stadium on June 16, 2010 in Nelspruit, South Africa. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)

Copa America 2011, Mexico Vs. Chile: Comeback Complete As Chile Win 2-1

Mexico are without their best attacking players, but they still have a defense that can make life difficult for Chile.

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Copa America 2011, Mexico Vs. Chile: El Tri Can't Hold Lead In 2-1 Loss

Bolivia drew Argentina. Venezuela drew Brazil. Peru drew Uruguay. Heavy favorites being unable to grab three points had become the theme in the early going of Copa America and it looked like Mexico would join the list of underdogs denying the favorites points. They have just an under-22 team at the tournament, but they scored in the first half to take a lead and for all of their issues in the attack, they have a strong defense. That defense couldn't hold up to the second half Chile onslaught thought as the Chileans came back to grab a 2-1 win over Mexico to jump to the top of Group C.

The first half consisted mostly of Chile passing the ball around in the midfield, but struggling to break down the Mexico back line. Then, as impotent as Mexico looked in the attack, they got their chance. A free kick in the attacking third was played into the center before being knocked to the back post when Nestor Araujo nodded it back across the goal and into the farside netting to put Mexico on top.

It was a shocking goal in a tournament filled with it, but almost as shocking was how poor Chile's two stars looked. The highly touted Alexis Sanchez looked dynamic when he got the ball, but couldn't turn it into something dangerous. His talent was clear, but the results absent. Then he got played in and was all alone on goal, but hit it wide of the frame. Humberto Suazo wasn't any better, being knocked off the ball multiple times and missing the frame when he too was played in on goal.

A frustrated Chile team went into the second half down a goal and looking like they would join Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay as favorites to have been shocked, but the second half went decidedly in favor of the Chileans. They turned their possession into chances. It didn't help Sanchez or Suazo out any as they continued to struggle to find their footing. Mexico goalkeeper Luis Michel didn't help any either as he made a series of fine saves to keep Mexico in front.

Finally in the 66th minute, Chile broke through. Mexico struggled to head away a Chile free kick and eventually the ball was played across the face of goal. Esteban Paredes came sliding in for it and was able to touch it across the goal line for the equalizer. Mexico looked to the assistant referee for an offside call, but replays confirmed that Paredes was onside.

It took just a handful of minutes before Chile had gone from down a goal to up one. Right after they leveled, Chile earned themselves a corner kick and from it they found the winning goal. The corner kick was hit hard to the top of the six-yard box and Arturo Vidal came running across from the farside of the box to the nearside, perfectly nodding the ball into the far post netting. The crowd with an estimated 8,000 Chileans who made the trip across the border to Argentina exploded and Chile has themselves a lead.

In the waning minutes Mexico had their chances to equalize. A scramble in front of goal led to Claudio Bravo storming off his line to knock the ball away from danger and the last play of the match was a dangerous Mexico free kick, but Chile cleared it away. The referee blew his whistle for fulltime and Chile had avoided the upset with a 2-1 win.

With the win, Chile moves to the top fo Group C with three points, while Mexico are at bottom. Uruguay and Peru sit in the middle with a point apiece. Chile will play their next Copa America match against Uruguay on July 8 in Mendoza, while Mexico will take on Peru, also in Mendoza on July 8.

For more on Mexico vs. Chile, the Mexican national team, and Mexican football in general, visit SB Nation's Mexican football blog FMF State Of Mind.


Copa America 2011, Mexico Vs. Chile: Arturo Vidal Heads Home Go-Ahead Goal

Mexico entered their Copa America opener against Chile as heavy underdogs. They were playing their under-22 squad against a team that qualified for the knockout stages in last summer's World Cup, but all the way to the 66th minute they were in control. They had themselves a 1-0 lead and Chile looked like they might be able to hold off the Chileans. That is until Esteban Paredes scored to level the match and now Arturo Vidal has nodded home the go-ahead goal on a corner kick to complete the Chile comeback.

As soon as Paredes scored to level the match, the entire stadium was lifted. The estimated 8,000 Chileans who made the trip across the border to Argentina lit up and filled the stadium with noise and that fed Chile, who pushed for the go-ahead goal as soon as they had their equalizer. It came in the 72nd minute when Chile earned themselves a corner kick. The ball was driven in hard at the top of the six-yard box and Vidal came flying in from the backside to the nearside with a perfect header right into the side netting. The stadium erupted, a gigantic Chile flag covered the supporters of an entire end of the stadium and Mexico looked sunk.


Copa America 2011, Mexico Vs. Chile: Esteban Paredes Equalizes For Chile

It took 66 minutes, but Chile have finally scored. Humberto Suazo and Alexis Sanchez were the team's ace goalscorers, but both wasted chances so it fell to someone else to get Chile on the scoreboard and Esteban Paredes answered the call. He was able to touch a loose ball just over the goal line to level the match for Chile at 1-1 and put a dent in Mexico's hopes to pull off yet another Copa America surprise.

The play started when Mexico couldn't clear a free kick. They had their chances to head it away, but Chile kept alive and eventually knocked across the frame very near the goal line. Paredes jumped on the opportunity, sliding to nudge it over the line for the equalizing goal. Mexico appealed that Paredes was offside, but replays showed that he was level with the goalkeeper and there was a Mexican player on the goal line so the assistant referee was correct in keeping the flag down.


Copa America 2011, Mexico Vs. Chile: El Tri Hold Surprising Halftime Lead

Copa America is becoming the tournament of underdogs. Bolivia drew with Argentina, Venezuela drew with Brazil, Peru drew with Uruguay and now at halftime, Mexicos' under-22 team leads Chile, 1-0. Nestor Araujo scored five minutes before the break to put El Tri on top and set the stage for yet another shocking result from South America's championships.

Chile has been the better team in the first half and on almost any other day would probably be leading considering their few chances were for their two best players, Alexis Sanchez and Humberto Suazo. One time Sanchez was played in beautiful passing sequence and had just the goalkeeper to beat, but Luis Michael closed him down well and Sanchez's shot rolled wide of the goal. Later on, Sanchez got in alone, but the ball was bouncing and his half volley skied over the crossbar.

More possession and more half chances came for Chile, but nothing else really clear. Then in the 40th minute, Mexico flipped the match. With a free kick in the attacking third they played a good ball right into the center of the box. Three players all went up for the ball and it was knocked on towards the back post where Araujo was waiting, awful mullet and all. Araujo nodded the ball back across the goal and in for a goal that put them in front.

As much as Chile wants to knock the ball around, at some point they'll have to turn that into chances. Mexico may be playing a young team, but they are strong at the back and chasing a goal against them isn't an enviable position. Nonetheless, it is one that Chile is in with just 45 minutes remaining.


Copa America 2011, Mexico Vs. Chile: Nestor Araujo Puts El Tri On Top

Apparently nobody told Mexico that they were underdogs. Playing an under-22 team, Mexico were expected to be just a little speed bump for Chile as they opened Copa America, but just before halftime El Tri have scored to make clear that they didn't just enter the tournament to make up the numbers. Young and inexperienced or not, Mexico may actually have a team to keep an eye on.

Chile did have the better of the possession and chances in the first half, but they didn't have many clear cut chances and didn't run Mexico off the field. Mexico did enough to hang around and when they got themselves a free kick in the attacking third they took advantage. The free kick was a good one and was knocked on towards the back post where Nestor Araujo did well to snap a lofted header across the goal and into the farside netting. The youthful Mexican celebrated and for good reason. They had themselves a 1-0 lead at Copa America just minutes before the halftime whistle.


Copa America 2011, Mexico Vs. Chile: Lineups

The lineups are in for Mexico and Chile's Copa America opener and unsurprisingly, it doesn't look like there is much in Mexico's attack that will scare Chile's defense. Giovani dos Santos is the headliner, but the only other player of note is Rafael Marquez Lugo, who is coming off of a good loan spell with Morelia last season, but is hardly a player that opposing defenses must account for at all times at the international level. It will be on dos Santos to carry much of the attacking load for Mexico so while he is listed as a central attacking midfielder in the lineup, expect to see him all over the pitch.

For Chile, the team is pretty much as expected. The only mildly curious note is that Alexis Sanchez is listed as a forward with Humberto Suazo and Matias Fernandez behind him. In reality, Suazo is likely going to play a little further up top with Sanchez all over the place, sometimes in front of Suazo, sometimes behind him, sometimes out wide. Aside from that, Chile is coming out in the team that they were expected to and the team that is expected to do away with the young and inexperienced Mexicans.

Mexico (4-2-3-1): Luis Ernesto Michel; Darvin Chavez, Hector Reynoso, Hiram Mier, Javier Aquino; Paul Aguilar, Diego Reyes; Nestor Araujo. Giovani dos Santos, Jorge Enriquez; Rafael Marquez Lugo

Chile (4-3-2-1): Claudio Bravo; Mauricio Isla, Gary Medel, Waldo Ponce, Arturo Vidal; Gonzalo Jara, Pablo Contreras, Jean Beausejour; Humberto Suazo, Matias Fernandez; Alexis Sanchez


Copa America 2011, Mexico Vs. Chile: TV Schedule, Kickoff Time And More

It may not be the best Mexico team, but it is still El Tri and with their sending an under-22 team to Copa America it is a glimpse into the future. That glimpse would have been a lot more fun with El Tri's best young players, but a prostitution scandal that led to the suspension of eight and Cubo Torres being left with the U-20 World Cup team has cut into some of that fun. Nonetheless, Mexico will take their very inexperienced team into San Juan and try to get a result a very good Chile team.

Many have forgotten that Chile actually advanced to the knockout stage of last summer's World Cup. They're a quality team that is expected to have no trouble qualifying out of their group in Copa America along with Uruguay, leaving Mexico and Peru in their wake. As we have learned with Argentina and Brazil's draws though, nothing in Copa America is a given.

Mexico vs. Chile

Time: 8:30 pm ET

Venue: Estadio de Bicentenario, San Juan, Argentina

Television: Univision (United States - Spanish), (More than 50 countries - English and Spanish)  


Copa America 2011, Mexico Vs. Chile: El Tri Short On Experience

As is usually the case with youth squads, the Mexico U-22 team that they have sent to Copa America is very short on experience. That's not exactly where you want to be in the South American championships at all, let alone in a group with a semifinalist from last year's World Cup and another team that qualified for the knockout stages. So as El Tri head into their first match of the tournament against Chile, they don't really know exactly what they can expect from their 23-man team.

It's shocking just how inexperienced this Mexico team is. Take away Giovani dos Santos' 45 caps and Paul Aguilar's 16 and the rest of the Mexico team has a combined 27 caps. 10 players have never made a senior international appearance and only three players on the entire roster have scored internationally. 

That last point is most jarring. Only three players have scored goals for the senior team and that is what Mexico will have to figure out in Copa America. They were always going to be young and inexperienced, but they did have quite the collection of talent. That is until eight players were suspended from the team for six months in a prostitution scandal, with many their top offensive players, severely weakening the attack. Now it is just dos Santos and some other guys going forward.

Mexico can defend, but inexperience could very bite them there. That tends to happen at the back where one mistake is all it takes to give away a match. How exactly do you win with a team as inexperienced as Mexico's? In short, you don't.


Copa America 2011: Mexico Vs. Chile

Coming into the 2011 Copa America, the Mexico sub-22 team looked like they had the potential to be a very entertaining side. The likes of Marco Fabian and Javier Cortes are some of the best young players in the Mexican Primera, and they were going to be very fun to watch playing on either side of Giovani dos Santos in an attacking 4-2-3-1. Then, Cortes and Fabian, among others, felt like having some prostitutes in their room. They got sent home for it, and now Mexico has to play Chile and their other Copa America opponents without any serious firepower other than dos Santos.

Chile, of course, have players like Humberto Suazo and Alexis Sanchez. They are not lacking in firepower in the least, and their midfield is very strong. The good news for Mexico is that the group of players sent home from the squad wasn't comprised of any of their top defenders, so they will be extremely strong and difficult to break down at the back.

Though most would expect a match between Mexico and Chile to be an exciting one filled with goals, don't expect that today. Mexico have nothing going forward and a very strong defense, while Chile are still adjusting to a new coach. This match has some potential to be yet another low-scoring match, though Chile should be able to nick a win.

For more on Mexico vs. Chile, the Mexican national team, and Mexican football in general, visit SB Nation's Mexican football blog FMF State Of Mind.

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