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Uruguay and Chile set to revive rivalry at Copa America

June 23, 2019
Uruguay's Edinson Cavani waves to fans at the end of a Copa America Group C soccer match at the Arena Gremio in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Thursday, June 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Edison Vara)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The lively rivalry between Chile and Uruguay will have a new chapter on Monday as the two teams fight for top spot in Copa America’s Group C.

The duel between the champions of the last three Copa America editions will be at the historic Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Chile has already advanced to the knockout stage after two wins. Uruguay needs one point to advance.

“We know each other very well,” said Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani. “We have won and we have lost ... we know what a rival it is.”

Cavani was involved in an incident between the two teams when they met in the quarterfinals of the 2015 Copa America in Chile.

With the match at 0-0, Chile defender Gonzalo Jara provoked Cavani by pushing a finger into his rear. Cavani reacted by punching Jara and was sent off. Chile prevailed with a late goal and went on to win the tournament.

The two teams also had rough encounters in 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Uruguay won 3-0 at home and Chile got revenge with a 3-1 win in Santiago.

Jara remains with Chile, but is on the bench in Brazil.

“We will go with all we have against Uruguay. We want to be first in the group and improve in every match. Chile wants a third Copa (title),” said Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal.

Chile coach Reinaldo Rueda will be concerned about fielding players that could end up suspended for the quarterfinals, including Vidal, Mauricio Isla, Jean Beausejour, Gabriel Arias and Oscar Opazo.

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabárez will have to make changes in his team.

Defender Giovanni Gonzalez will replace injured Diego Laxalt, which should move Martin Caceres to the left. Midfielder Giorgian de Arrascaeta could be in the starting XI for the first time, replacing either Nicolas Lodeiro or Nahitan Nández.

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