Chile fights for survival against Panama

Chile fights for survival against Panama

The defending Copa America champion could miss out on this year’s quarterfinals if things go awry in a few short hours.

Chile, which must secure a win or a draw in its group-play final, battles Panama at 8 p.m. ET. Handicappers at online sports book Bovada.lv like La Roja to take care of business. Los Canaleros, conversely, represent +1100 underdogs. The over/under goal total sits at 2.5.

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Both teams enter the match with three points. Chile, however, enjoys a slightly more comfortable position thanks to Friday’s 2-1 triumph over Bolivia. Arturo Vidal’s penalty-kick tally in stoppage time was a huge boon for the Bayern Munich standout. He had been uncharacteristically quiet vs. Argentina, borderline suffocated by Marcos Rojo and other defensive maestros.

La Albiceleste really blindsided Panama, though, dealing Hernan Dario Gomez’s club a 5-0 loss. Midfielder Anibal Godoy’s extended absence rendered the Canaleros shorthanded for 59 minutes. Gomez faces tough personnel decisions tonight, too, as Godoy and Blas Perez are suspended.

We expect Chile to set the tone early. Of course, who steps up for Juan Antonio Pizzi’s squad if Vidal gets hemmed in? In the end, respect Panama’s ability to make La Roja work incredibly hard for that last spot in the knockout stage.

TUESDAY COPA AMERICA FREE PICK: CHILE/PANAMA UNDER 2.5 GOALS

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