Alexis Sanchez scored the winning penalty for Chile as they overcame Argentina on penalties to secure their first ever Copa America success.
The Arsenal man dinked a cheeky ‘Panenka’ effort to seal a 4-1 shootout victory after a fraught and tense game had ended 0-0 after 120 minutes.
The victory for the hosts sent the Santiago crowd wild as they celebrated the end of a 99-year wait for the trophy.
The heartbreak for Lionel Messi and Argentina adds to last summer’s defeat in the World Cup final and extends their winless run in international tournaments to 22-years.
Alexis was at the centre of much of Chile’s best play, displaying his usual hustle and bustle both on and off the ball. The striker dragged a volley just wide as his side went for victory during normal time and lashed over in extra-time after beating former Barcelona team-mate Javier Mascherano.
After Gonzalo Higuain and Ever Banega missed their penalties for Argentina, the Gunners player of the year calmly stepped up and clipped his effort straight down the middle. He whipped his shirt off and the celebrations began.
After an incredibly long domestic and international season (he’s played something like 76 games in 15 months) Alexis will now have four weeks off. What a year for the man!
Congratulations to him and Chile…good things come to those who wait.