Watch: Bravo heroic in penalties as Chile outlasts Portugal to reach Confed Cup final
For a third straight summer, Chile is headed to a major tournament final.
Claudio Bravo was the hero in penalty kicks–just as he was in the last two Copa America finals–making three consecutive stops, as Chile won 3-0 in the PK shootout after a 0-0 draw with Portugal to reach the Confederations Cup final.
Arturo Vidal, Charles Aranguiz and Alexis Sanchez scored Chile's first three penalty kicks, while Bravo saved from Ricardo Quaresma, Joao Moutinho and Nani in succession to secure Chile's place in the title match, where it'll look to win a third straight piece of major silverware.
The match was a combination of chance-heavy and chippy, with both Bravo and his counterpart, Rui Patricio, coming up big when called upon.
Andre Silva tried to get Portugal off to a dream start, firing a clear 20-yard chance on frame, but it was no problem for Bravo, with the Chilean goalkeeper handling it calmly in the second minute.
Chile then had a golden opportunity minutes later, with Alexis splitting the defense with a sly throughball for Eduardo Vargas, but Patricio came racing off his line with a sliding challenge to prevent the forward from scoring.
The action continued on the other end of the field, with Bravo coming up with a sensational denial of Silva after Ronaldo was given the time and space to pick out his fellow forward by the far post.
Things settled for a solid 20-minute spurt before Chile found its next chance, with Aranguiz glancing a looping header toward the upper left-hand corner of the goal only to narrowly miss the target.
Aranguiz then did extraordinarily poorly with an opportunity that fell right to him, after Vidal whiffed on an overhead kick. The spinning ball squirted right to Aranguiz by the far post, but his attempt to whip in a volley was mis-hit and failed to trouble Patricio.
The cagey play continued into the second half, with Vidal's wayward header the only real opportunity over the opening 10 minutes. Things opened up after that, though.
Vargas turned in a sensational self-set-up spinning volley for which Patricio reacted instantly and denied him by the far post.
On the ensuing sequence, Ronaldo blasted a chance from inside the area right at Bravo, and the Chilean made the comfortable save.
In the 62nd minute, Vidal was afforded the time and space to line up a blast from long range, and he launched a rocket toward Patricio's goal, only to narrowly miss the crossbar.
Ten minutes later, it was Ronaldo who came close from long range. His chance, with plenty of help from a deflection, nearly looped into the upper 90, only to miss and go out for a corner.
With extra time beckoning, Ronaldo missed another opportunity to give Portugal the lead, heading wide of the post after a cross from the right had set him up in prime position to score, albeit in traffic.
Alexis, amid a quiet game by his standards, had a gilt-edged opportunity to give Chile the lead in extra time, with his clean header in the center of the box after Mauricio Isla's cross from the right going agonizingly wide of the far post.
The second half of extra time saw a bit of controversy, when Francisco Silva, fresh off the Chile bench, appeared to have his foot stomped on by Jose Fonte in the Portugal box, only to have no call given.
Chile came inches from winning at the death–twice–on an absolutely wild sequence. First, Vidal's low blast caromed off the far post, and the rebound, which fell for Martin Rodriguez, was put squarely off the crossbar.
Chile will play the winner of Germany and Mexico in Sunday's final in St. Petersburg.