Arturo Vidal played 90 minutes as Copa America hosts Chile booked their place in next Tuesday’s semi-final after they defeated nine-man holders Uruguay 1-0 at the Estadio Nacional last night.
La Roja dominated proceedings throughout and went close in the first half through Vidal who saw a scorching effort from distance beaten away by Fernando Muslera.
Chances came and went for the hosts and with the game seemingly destined for extra-time, the turning point arrived in the 76th minute when Edinson Cavani was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Five minutes later, Chile finally broke the deadlock.
After Muslera had punched a cross clear only as far as Jorge Valdivia, the Palmeiras captain in turn supplied Mauricio Isla. The Juventus defender, who spent last season on loan at Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League, took one touch before unleashing an unstoppable drive that nestled into the bottom corner.
Deep into stoppage time, Uruguay's fate was sealed when they were reduced to nine men following Jorge Fucile's second yellow.
The result means Chile, who have never triumphed in the competition since its inception in 1916, march on into the semi-finals where they’ll play the winner of Bolivia and Peru next week in Santiago.
Elsewhere, Italy Under-21s crashed out of the European Championships in Czech Republic despite beating England 3-1 at the Andruv Stadion.
By virtue of Portugal’s 1-1 draw with Sweden in the other Group B encounter, Andrea Belotti’s opener and Marco Benassi’s brace weren’t enough for the Azzurrini to book their place in the tournament’s semi-finals.
Stefano Sturaro, the Bianconeri’s sole representative for Luigi di Biagio’s troops, missed out on the meeting due to suspension.