Chile are into the Confederations Cup final after the semi-final with Portugal in Kazan was decided by Claudio Bravo’s penalty shoot-out saves. Bravo saved poor spot-kicks from Ricardo Quaresma, Joao Moutinho and Nani as the much-maligned Manchester City goalkeeper proved to be the match winner.
Chile were faultless from the spot as Arturo Vidal, Charles Aranguiz and Alexis Sanchez scored.
The South American champions had come closest to winning the contest in open play when Vidal hit the post in the penultimate minute of extra-time and Martin Rodriguez struck the bar with the follow-up.
Portugal had earlier escaped when Iranian official Alireza Faghani opted not to ask the video assistant referee to review a challenge by Jose Fonte on Francisco Silva, which should have been a penalty. Germany and Mexico meet in the second semi-final in Sochi on Thursday. The final takes place on Sunday evening in St Petersburg, with a third-placed play-off in Moscow earlier in the day.
Bravo was called into action early on against the European champions, denying Andre Silva. Cristiano Ronaldo was the provider, but Bravo smothered Andre Silva’s attempt to convert.
Chances in front of goal were few and far between as the sides cancelled each other out.
Two came in quick succession, but the goalkeepers ensured the deadlock remained. Rui Patricio denied Eduardo Varga after he took a touch before firing towards goal. And then Bravo stood up to repel Ronaldo’s shot after 58 minutes.
Ronaldo had a shot deflected for a corner and then headed wide from Soares’ cross with six minutes of normal time remaining.
Sanchez came closer still in the fifth minute of extra-time. But the Arsenal striker, after finding space 10 yards out, headed narrowly wide from Mauricio Isla’s cross.
Chile might have had a penalty in the second period of extra-time when Silva went by Fonte after latching on to Sanchez’s pass. Fonte took the substitute down and appeals were dismissed. The referee did not refer the decision.
Chile came close to brushing off the disappointment as Vidal’s rapier-like strike from the left edge of the area came back off the post.
Rodriguez prodded the ball goal-bound, but it was too high and the game went to penalties.
Vidal converted the first spot-kick and Bravo guessed correctly on each occasion he faced a Portuguese taker as Ronaldo was left to watch his team’s title hopes come to an end.