Wednesday's Copa America semifinal between Chile and Colombia took a ridiculous four hours to complete, thanks to a long weather delay. And incredibly, fans stuck around through the whole thing, with the stands at Soldier Field remaining surprisingly full at the end of the match. But the game was ultimately decided in the first 11 minutes, where La Roja dominated, leading to their 2-0 victory.
Charles Aranguiz scored the opener in the 7th minute, assisted by Colombia's Juan Cuadrado. The latter won a header and tried to nod it back to goalkeeper David Ospina, but it didn't quite get there. Instead, Aranguiz capitalized on the poor header, as well as a sleepy defense and goalkeeper.
Four minutes later, José Fuenzalida doubled his team's lead, poking in a rebound after Alexis Sánchez hit the post. Again, Ospina probably should have been able to make a save.
From there, the Colombians were pretty well on top, though they couldn't find the back of the net. Despite some good shots that tested Claudio Bravo, they went into halftime with a zero on the scoreboard.
Then the teams had to sit in the locker room for two hours as severe thunderstorms pounded the Chicago area. Once play resumed, the pitch was seriously waterlogged, setting up a very sloppy second half.
Colombia nearly capitalized on the conditions in the 47th minute, when Chile defender Gonzalo Jara appeared to trip Dani Torres in the penalty area. The referee didn't see a foul, though, and Los Cafeteros were denied a great chance to get back into the game.
In the 57th minute, Colombia's Carlos Sanchez was sent off for picking up a second yellow card. While Colombia continued to push for a goal after that, going down to 10 men essentially ended any chances they had of mounting a comeback.
Chile: Bravo, Beausejour, Jara, Medel, Isla, Silva, Hernandez (Pulgar 30'), Aranguiz, Fuenzalida (Puch 75'), Vargas (Gonzalez 88'), Sanchez
Goals: Aranguiz (7'), Fuenzalida (11')
Colombia: Ospina, Fabra (Perez 73'), Murillo, Zapata, Arias, Torres, Sanchez (red 57'), Cardona (Moreno 46'), Rodriguez, Cuadrado (Bacca 80'), Martinez
Maybe they should have played the second half on Thursday -- Competitive CONCACAF and CONMEBOL games have been played on worse pitches than the one this game finished on, but they really shouldn't be. The Soldier Field pitch was just barely playable, and bringing players back out to play cold after a two-hour delay isn't really any better than abandoning the match. The pitch probably led to the controversial 47th-minute penalty no-call, and it might have contributed to the referee seeing it incorrectly too.
Carlos Bacca should have started -- What Jose Pekerman thought Roger Martinez would bring to Colombia that Carlos Bacca didn't isn't clear. But it is clear that his decision was very much a misguided one. Bacca hasn't had an exceptional tournament, but he's had a lot of great moments over the last couple of years. Martinez is just 22, and hasn't yet turned in a dominant club season.
Bravo was great, Ospina wasn't -- This game featured a battle of goalkeepers who are occasionally brilliant, but certainly not always. Bravo started this tournament in poor form, while Ospina was the star of Colombia's quarterfinal win. But their roles were reversed in the semifinal -- Bravo was flawless, while Ospina could have done much better on both of the goals.