(Reuters) – Chile must find a player with the dynamism Arturo Vidal showed in their 7-0 rout of Mexico when they face Colombia without the suspended midfielder in Wednesday’s Copa America Centenario quarter-final in Chicago.
Vidal, the key man in the title holders’ improvement after a poor start to the tournament, landed his second booking against the Mexicans and will be sorely missed at Soldier Field.
The 29-year-old Bayern Muncioh player is the true leader of the Chile team captained by goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, runs the midfield, gets into scoring positions, is good with his head and an aggressive ball winner.
Colombia, though, will not allow themselves to relax despite Vidal’s absence and are prepared for a pressing game from Chile like the one that undid Mexico regardless of who replaces Vidal, whose role is likely to be taken by Charles Aranguiz.
“They have great players. Chile isn’t just Vidal,” Colombia midfielder Daniel Torres told reporters
“We can’t be confident because Vidal won’t be there, we have to be very careful because surely his replacement will have the same characteristics.
Chile are marginally the favorites with a more settled team and few changes since they won the title for the first time when they hosted the tournament a year ago.
“As far as a favorite goes, it’s the team that does things better that will get the better result,” said Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina.
“Chile have been doing things very well in recent times and that’s why they are champions of the last Copa America and that says a lot.”
Colombia struggled against Peru before winning their quarter-final on penalties but are a better side than in 2015 and Chile will have to work hard to cope with their counter-attacks.
(Writing by Rex Gowar; Editing by Ken Ferris)