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Chile seeking piece of Copa America history: Vidal

Porto Alegre (Brazil), July 2 (IANS) Defending champions Chile are focused on securing a slice of history as they prepare for Wednesday’s Copa America semifinal against Peru, midfielder Arturo Vidal has said.

“We want to go down in history as three-time champions,” Vidal told reporters on Monday ahead of Wednesday’s match at Arena do Gremio in Porto Alegre. “It’s what we’re dreaming of. We want to play our best game of this Copa America against Peru.”

Chile will become the second team in the competition’s 103-year history to clinch three straight titles if they are crowned champions at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on July 7, Xinhua news agency reported.

But to do so, the Roja must first overcome a Peru outfit that has exceeded expectations in Brazil.

Argentina achieved a hat-trick of Copa America titles from 1945 to 1947, when the competition was held annually.

Chile won their maiden Copa America as hosts in 2015 before defending their title a year later at the centenary edition in the US.

Managed by Colombian Reinaldo Rueda, the Roja advanced to the semifinals here by overcoming Colombia on penalties in Sao Paulo last Friday.

Vidal said his team would afford great respect to Peru, who clinched a semifinal berth with a penalty shootout win over Uruguay on Saturday.

“We will need a perfect match, with great quality because Peru is a very united team, similar to Colombia,” the Barcelona player said. “It will be a very interesting match.”

–IANS

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