CHILE - CROATIA 5:2 (1:1, 1:0)
China Cup, semifinals.
Guangxi Stadium, Nanning.
Referee: F. Ming (China)
Referee: 1:0 - Pinares (18'), 1:1 - Andrijašević (77')
Goals: Ozobić (53'), Filipović (59')
Penalties: 2:1 - Vargas, 2:2 - Pivarić, 3:2 - Galdames, Antolić - Toselli saves, 4:2 - Beausejour, Marić - Toselli saves, 5:2 - Ramos
Chile: Toselli, Opazo, Diaz, Maripan, Beausejour, Carmona (83' Galdames), Pavez (90+2' Caroca), Pinares (83' Sagal), Fuenzalida (70' Ramos), Valencia, Vargas. Head coach: J. A. Pizzi.
Croatia: Livaković, Pivarić, Barać, Filipović, Matas, Antolić, Ozobić (57' Tudor), Andrijašević (90' Ivanušec), Šitum (64' Barišić), Mišić, Perošević (57' Marić). Head coach: A. Čačić.
Following the Iceland victory over hosts China in the first semifinal, Chile and Croatia clashed to determine the second China Cup finalist.
Chile took the lead after 18 minutes, when Vargas found Pinares who slotted home with a low shot. Croatia responded through Andrijašević and Filipović headers, while Livaković pulled off a couple of excellent saves to prevent Chile from doubling the advantage.
Searching for an equalizer, Marić and Antolić tried to find the target in the second half, and Livaković twice stopped Vargas in clear goalscoring opportunities.
Finally, Andrijašević scored to make it 1:1 in 77th minute after Tudor's cross from the right, but Chile went on to win the penalty shootout. Toselli saved Antolić' and Marić efforts, leaving captain Pivarić as the only converter for Croatia. On the other hand, Vargas, Galdames, Beausejour, and Ramos all failed to make a mistake.
"Considering opponent's strength and the importance of the match, we can be happy with what we have seen. My team has played well after basically just one training session. Chile has a more standardized team, enjoyed longer preparations, and we congratulate them for reaching the final. It could have ended differently, Croatia had its chances, and finally it was a bit of luck and calmer penalty converting that decided the winner", said Croatia head coach Ante Čačić.
"We have watched China - Iceland match, and I was pleasantly surprised by the China's style of play for the first 60 minutes. Iceland is, however, more experienced, and managed to win in the final half an hour. Now we have to see if there are any consequences for my players after this match. China had one day more to rest, and I will convey the spotted weakness to my players, as well as many quality things China has presented", concluded Čačić.