45 minutes of violence, an unnecessary surgical procedure that saw red, a sublime strike and a small gang war. No this isna t a new TV show but the events of the Chile Uruguay quarter final game.
In a game that saw ten yellow cards of which two led to reducing team players, home team Chile with the likes of stars like Aurturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez to name a few, took on Uruguay who are eleven places above them in the FIFA rankings and were clearly considered the stronger side. However without the fire power of their talisman Suarez, much of the scoring task was left to their PSG striker Edinson Cavani.
The match started with Uruguay looking as unsettled as restless child in a shopping cart. Chile seemed to dominate the game earning almost 80% of possession. The trickery of Vargas and Sanchez, backed by a steady supply of crosses and through balls from either wins or Vidal saw Chile taking a stab at the blue and blacks. However, for almost majority of the game, lucky defending and efforts of Muslera the Uruguayan shot stopper kept the teams level in what was a very violent first half. Valdivia and Isla were the two carded players for Chelsea while Cavani and Fucile were the Uruguayans who saw yellow.
The second half seemed no different initially as Chile increasingly looked threatening, forcing the likes of Cavani to play inside his own half. Chile did eventually find the back of the net with 9 minutes of normal time to spare.
The Jara Incident
An incident that jarred most fans and overshadowed Chilea s victory involved Gonzalo Jara and Edinson Cavani. Cavani who was already carded in the first half was shown a red leaving Oscar Tabarez fuming. Cavani in the 62nd minute was given the marching orders after having tapped and sent Jara to the ground. Initial reactions from the Chilean made the incident look shocking as Cavani haters spewed venom at the striker for his violent conduct. The referee who doled out the card too having stood only feet away from the incident felt it just to send him away. However protest from Cavani and a look at the replay clearly shows the Chilean first provoking Cavani with an attempt to what looked like a medical surgery at the wrong place and then simulating injury at the slightest contact from his rival.
Jara who has been earlier known to have participated in a similar incident involving Suarez when he tried to grope the former Liverpool star and provoking him to fight and be sent off has remained unpunished for the earlier incident. It is yet unknown whether any action will be taken against the defender, however it did reduce the visitora s strength on the pitch along with their chances of qualifying as Isla the 27 year old drove home a poorly punched ball to the back of the net.
Later in the dying moments of the game, Jorge Fucile was also given his second yellow leaving the visitors with 9 players to finish the game. Along with the card came the commotion as the game was stopped for several minutes as the Uruguayan players surrounded the referee in protest of his decision.
Chile now face the winners of Bolivia and Peru in their Semi-finala s match. In a competition that Chile havena t won since its inception, the home team will look to win the trophy. Reports suggest that Jara will be banned for rest of the competition, which seems only like a short term solution. However, it is yet unknown what action will be taken to prevent incidents such as these in the future. But like the Zidane head butt that is remembered with greater intensity than the world cup winner itself, this incident too will be subject to constant debate well after the tournament comes to an end. As such repulsive behaviour only mara s the reputation of a team as well as the wonderful game of football.