Chile will play Peru in a massive Copa America 2015 semi final game on Monday night, with a place in the showpiece final for the winner of tonight's match. Hosts Chile should be favorites, especially being in front of thousands of their home fans, however, it would be unwise to write off Peru who have played some excellent football in this tournament so far. The game has a scheduled start time of 7.30 p.m. ET and can be watched on TV on the beIN Sports network, or online through live stream via the link below.
Today's game takes place from the Estadio Nacional Julio Martínez Prádanos in Santiago, Chile and should see a packed stadium see the hosts go all out to claim the win that will send their nation into ecstasy and through to the final of this year's competition.
The match will feature one of the hottest rivalries in South American football, and there will be no love lost between these teams when they face off tonight.
One of the big talking points ahead of the game has been Gonzalo Jara being ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a three game suspension. Jara's ban was sparked by an incident in their quarter final win over reigning Copa America champions Uruguay with opposition striker Edinson Cavani.
That quarter final was also a heated affair, and just after the hour mark, Jara seemingly prodded the PSG striker in the rear with his finger. Cavani exploded with anger and raised his hand to Jara's face, getting a red card himself.
All that took place prior to Mauricio Isla's 81st-minute goal to win the game for Chile and send the home fans into a frenzy of celebrations. The game got worse though, and Jorge Fucile was also sent off for Uruguay.
Jara did not escape punishment though, and CONMEBOL decided to ban Jara for his provocative actions. It was also later claimed that he had been trying to get under Cavani's skin by insulting his father, who had recently been arrested for drink driving.
Chile reserve goalkeeper Paulo Garces said about Jara: "It will be a shame for all of us if Gonzalo is suspended because he is a fundamental player for us. 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 were more impressive in their quarter final match, defeating Bolivia 3-1, which should give them confidence that they are in good enough form to get a result against the host nation.
The tense history between these two teams is well documented; they share a border and have a fierce national rivalry anyway, but this "Clasico del Pacifico" as it is known by some, has been heated for decades since Chile prevented Peru from qualifying for the 1974 World Cup. In 1978 Peru were able to gain revenge by preventing their neighbors from qualifying for the World Cup this time, and a fiery rivalry was sparked.
Chile will be favorites, being the host nation as well as defeating Peru 3-0 the last time they met in a friendly game last year.
Many expect this game to get even more heated than the Chile vs Uruguay quarter final game, however, Chile defender Jose Pedro Fuenzalida has expressed hope that the game can move above physicality and heated exchanges, and that the focus will be on the football. He said, "The match between Chile and Peru holds a very important rivalry throughout history and last year we played a friendly which was quite hard, with plenty of aggression on their side. That's created the expectation that these games have to go beyond the rules of football. We hope that Monday's game is only remembered for what happens on the pitch."
Today's big Copa America 2015 semi final between Chile and Peru has a scheduled start time of 7.30 p.m. ET and can be watched on TV on the beIN Sports network or online through live stream by clicking here.