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Peru, Chile play to scoreless draw in Copa America opener

Chile and Peru missed a chance to take a big step toward Copa America quarterfinal qualification on Friday night, playing to a dour 0-0 draw in their Group A opener in Arlington, Texas.

Chile’s Alexis Sanchez missed the match’s best scoring chance in the 16th minute in a match pitting teams hoping to join defending tournament champion Argentina on three points.

From there, each side struggled to generate menacing attacks in a match that echoed their woes in CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying, where they have combined for only four goals over 12 matches played.

The result was good news for Canada, which lost its opener 2-0 to Argentina on Thursday but should feel it has a strong chance against its remaining Group A opponents based on this display.

Both sides sustained first-half injury casualties, with wingback Luis Advincula forced off for Peru (0-1-0, 1 point) in the 35th minute due to a right leg issue, and Diego Valdes exiting for Chile (0-1-0, 1 point) at the break because of a left leg issue.

Peru also saw center back Alexander Callens depart with a lower-body ailment late in the second half.

Sanchez’s chance arrived with the veteran attacker unmarked at the 6-yard box to receive Victor Davila’s low cross from the left, only to sky his first-time effort over the crossbar.

Chile had more attacking verve throughout the remainder of the half but struggled to play the correct final ball.

In the 43rd minute, Peru’s Miguel Araujo connected well on a header from Sergio Pena’s free kick, forcing Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo into a lunging stop.

Peru striker Gianluca Lapadula had the most threatening moments of the second half but failed to seriously test Bravo.

In the 57th minute, Lapadula appeared to be in a promising position after a deflection, but he slipped as he tried to poke home a finish that Bravo saved easily.

In the 79th, his side-footed volley of Pena’s corner forced Bravo into a leaping stop, and the goalkeeper barely gathered the rebound in time to prevent a second attempt.

–Field Level Media

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