Chile was handed a big blow on Sunday when it was announced that Gonzalo Jara would be suspended for the remainder of the tournament after an incident with Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani.
Jara poked Cavani in the back with his finger in the 63rd minute of the hosts 1-0 victory over the 2011 Champions. Cavani immediately got in Jara’s face for the prodding and was sent off by the referee for his reaction in retaliation.
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The man advantage proved to be enough to get Chile over the top as Mauricio Isla found the back of the net in the 81st minute, but CONMEBOL dealt Chile a disadvantage with the ruling on Sunday.
“It will be a shame for all of us if Gonzalo is suspended because he is a fundamental player for us,” Chilean goalkeeper Paulo Garces said. “But we have 23 players and 23 are prepared for these circumstances. Hopefully whoever has to play can do so in the same way as Gonzalo has done.”
Peru will prove to be Chile’s toughest test to date in the tournament as the country searches for it’s first ever Copa America Title and first championship in South America in nearly 96 years.
Peru is riding high after a 3-1 rout of Bolivia in the quarterfinals. Paolo Guerrero scored all three goals in that match and will be the most confident player on the pitch on Monday after that hat trick.
Peru is one of Chile’s closest rivals as the two countries share a border and have history dating back all the way to 1974.
Chile denied Peru a place in the 1974 World Cup, and Peru returned the favor four years later. Their matches ever since have been tumultuous and packed with tension as their head-to-head encounters are known as the ‘Clasico del Pacifico.’