Vargas double lifts Chile into Copa America final

Vargas double lifts Chile into Copa America final

Vargas double lifts Chile into Copa America final

Eduardo Vargas scored twice as Chile downed fierce rivals Peru 2-1 here to reach the Copa America final for the first time in nearly 30 years.

Vargas, who endured a miserable season on loan at relegated English Premier League side Queens Park Rangers, lashed in a stunning 64th-minute strike as the hosts advanced to the final for the first time 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, who played most of the match with 10 men after Carlos Zambrano was sent off for a reckless challenge on Charles Aranguiz after 20 minutes, came back bravely to force an equaliser through a Gary Medel own goal in the 60th minute.

But Vargas, who also had a legitimate 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 ferocious 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 as they chase a first ever Copa America crown after 99 years of failure.

The latest instalment of Chile and Peru's long football rivalry -- known as the "Clasico del Pacifico" -- burst into life after only four minutes, when Chile's Arturo Vidal tangled angrily with Zambrano.

Vidal was fortunate to escape at least a booking for thrusting a hand in Zambrano's face as tempers threatened to boil over.

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