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Chile through to China Cup final, after defeating Croatia 5-2
   2017-01-12 12:48:50    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Xu Yaqi

Chile completes with Croatia during the China Cup in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on January, 11, 2017. [Photo: Xinhua]

Two-time Copa America winner Chile beat Croatia 5-3 on penalty shootouts to reach the final of the China Cup in Nanning, in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Wednesday.

The South American nation took the lead in the 19th minute when Cesar Pinares curled the ball into the net after a pass from Eduardo Vargas.

Franko Andrijasevic equalized for Croatia in the 76th minute to tie the score, and the game was dragged into a penalty shoot-out to break the deadlock.

Chilean goalkeeper Christopher Toselli made two great saves, blocking attempts by Domagoj Antolic and Mirko Maric, to help Chile advance to the final.

Chile's head coach Juan Pizzi said the team's performance was not as good in the second half because the players were suffering from the jet lag.

"It feels good to win the game through penalty shoot-outs, because it helps the players improve their mental focus," he said.

Croatia's head coach Ante Cacic congratulated Chile on reaching the final, and said, "They created more opportunities to score during the match".

"The penalties are always a lottery, I think Chile is little bit calmer and they deserve to go to the final," he added.

Chile will now play Iceland in the final on Sunday, while China and Croatia will battle for third on Saturday.

The China Cup, initiated by the Wanda Group and the Chinese Football Association, is an A-grade international event acknowledged by the world football governing body FIFA.

It is widely tipped as a platform for China to hone their skills ahead of their long-shot bid for the Russia 2018 World Cup.

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