Argentina (FIFA Rank 1) v Chile (5)
After 31 games of Copa America Centenario it comes to this, a rematch of the 2015 Copa America Final won by Chile in penalty kicks. Argentina and Chile opened their tournaments by playing each other on June 6th in Santa Clara. Argentina won that game 2-1 but were without Lionel Messi. Angel Di Maria was man of the match for Argentina, but Di Maria was subsequently hurt in Argentina's second game against Panama with an abductor injury and has not played since. Coach Gerardo Martino has said the Angel Di Maria is available for the final, but it is unclear if he this is gamesmanship or if he is really fit. Di Maria trained on the side during Saturday's final training session.
After losing their opener 2-1 to Argentina, Chile has grown into the tournament. They struggled to beat Bolivia 2-1, then beat Panama 4-2 to advance to the knockout stages. That's when they turned it up and beat a favored Mexico team 7-0 before beating Colombia 2-0 in the semi-final. Arturo Vidal was suspended for the Colombia game and will be well rested and ready for the final.
This is a legacy game for Lionel Messi. The only thing missing on his resume is an international tournament title. Argentina were the losing finalists in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and the last Copa America. In fact they have not won a tournament title since 1993, a gap of 23 years that Argentina legend Diego Maradona seems to bring up daily when the question of who is the best Argentine player of all time inevitably come up.
The Golden Boot will be decided today. Chile's Eduardo Vargas currently leads with six goals (four goals against Mexico really helped), while Messi is on 5 goals. Gonzalo Higuaín is sitting on four goals and could also play a factor before the day is over. Alexis Sanchez would have to do something historic to get in the conversation as he enters the final with three goals.
How to Watch:
- Rob Stone hosts pre-match, halftime and post-match commentary alongside Alexi Lalas, Fernando Fiore and Aly Wagner live from the FOX Broadcast Center in Los Angeles, with Jenny Taft and Landon Donovan co-hosting live from MetLife Stadium.
- John Strong and Brad Friedel are on the call, joined by Francisco X. Rivera on the sideline.
- The FOX pregame show starts at 3:30 PM, with kickoff set for exactly 5:06 PM.
- If tied after 90 minutes, there will be 30 minutes of extra time followed by penalty kicks if needed.
This is your Sounder at Heart Copa America Centenario Final Gamethread. It has been a pleasure to be with you this entire tournament, thanks for watching with us.