Peru pushed us all the way, Chile’s Isla says

SANTIAGO:  Peru gave Chile a real run for their money in Monday's Copa America semi-final despite playing most of the matchwith 10 men, Chile defender Mauricio Isla acknowledged.

“We said it in the changing room afterwards. It wasn’t the best match we’ve ever played. Peru made things really difficult for us, even with one man fewer,” Isla said.

“I think the pressure got to us. We were a little bit tired and Peru made things quite difficult.”

Peru had Carlos Zambrano sent off in the 20th minute for achallenge on Charles Aranguiz and Chile took a 1-0 lead just before the break.

But the Peruvians never gave up and equalised through a Gary Medel own goal before Chilean striker Eduardo Vargas scored his second of the night to seal his side’s 2-1 victory.

Chile, in the final for the first time in 28 years, will face the winner of Tuesday’s second semi-final between Argentina or Paraguay.

“Everyone wants a final against Argentina but look out forParaguay, they’re a very strong team,” Isla said.

Peru’s veteran striker Claudio Pizarro lamented Zambrano’sdismissal but praised his team mates for their attitude.

“With 11 against 11 it might have been a different story butthat’s the way it is,” he said. “We had to play with 10 men from the start and despite that I think the team played really well, fighting until the end.”

Peru will now face the losers of Tuesday’s match for third place.

"We have to get our concentration back and recover because we still have an important game left,” Pizarro said.