The second Copa America semi-final takes place in the early hours of Thursday morning when Chile and Peru go head-to-head from 1.30am GMT. A competitive encounter is expected and although bookmakers have thrown the weight of their support behind Chile, making them odds-on betting favourites, Peru will go into the clash confident they have what it takes to spring a surprise.

Both teams have been impressive so far and odds-makers have done the hard work to allow punters an added interest. Have your say on over 100 betting markets, including match winner, both teams to score, half-time/full time, winning margin, total goals, to win to nil, first goal scorer, correct score and plenty more besides.

Many of the pre-match markets remain live throughout the course of the game thanks to in-play betting. A punt is as exciting in the final few minutes as it was before kick-off. Who will come out on top in this semi-final and where should you invest your cash to ensure a profit?

Sanchez Fires Chile to Success

Chile have an impressive Copa America record behind them but came painfully close to being knocked out at the quarter-final stage when dragged over 120 minutes by Columbia in a game that swung back and forth. The teams couldn’t be separated after 90 minutes with the scores locked at 0-0 and that meant we went into extra-time. The extended period didn’t help any and penalties were needed to decide who would line-up against Peru in the semi-finals.

Chile held their nerve from the spot to come out on top courtesy of a 5-4 final score. William Tesillo missed Columbia’s fifth and final penalty to hand victory to their rivals. It was a cruel way to exit a competition that the team believed they could go close to winning. Columbia filled their squad with attack-minded players, so only had themselves to blame when losing through a goalless draw. Perhaps they will regret not selecting free-scoring Glasgow Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos who tore up the Scottish Premiership last season and was a man with confidence to burn.

Chile's Alexis Sanchez in action during the Romania vs Chile friendly

Chile’s Alexis Sanchez in action during the Romania vs Chile friendly

Manchester United striker Alexis Sanchez netted the decisive penalty for Chile, keeping calm to slot home and delight his teammates. They came within one spot-kick of being eliminated but will learn the lessons of that match and come back stronger for the experience. Will they beat Peru in 90 minutes? Bookmakers certainly believe so and Chile are 10/11 favourites with bet365 to grab the desired result. Another draw is 21/10 with the same firm.

Peru Fortunate to Go Through

Peru also won their last eight match on penalties and it was another low-scoring game that went down to the wire. They couldn’t find a way past a stubborn Uruguay on Saturday, fighting out an ugly 0-0 finish. Again, extra-time failed to make an impact with both teams looking tired as they stumbled towards the finish line, accepting penalties as a foregone conclusion. It has been a long season for the players involved and that was beginning to take its toll on their legs.

The match finished 0-0 and went to spot-kicks, Peru sneaking through thanks to a 5-4 final score. Former Liverpool scorer Luis Suarez was selected to take his country’s first penalty and approached the ball like a man oozing confidence, but he failed to convert and was left distraught. That was made worse by the fact each of his teammates managed to find the net, meaning Suarez’s miss made all the difference. A bitter pill to swallow for a man who prides himself on a winning attitude.

Edison Flores scored the winner for Peru, sparking wild celebrations. Uruguay were, arguably, the better team on the day and had a goal disallowed for off-side. They also passed up a number of great opportunities to win the match in normal time, but a lack of cutting edge in the final-third came back to haunt them. Peru will feel somewhat fortunate to have slipped through the net, but will they continue to ride their luck, or will Chile cut short their stay? You can back Peru at 18/5 with a number of respectable online betting firms, including Ladbrokes. Prefer to avoid picking a winner? Why not risk your stake on no in the both teams to score market at 4/7 at betting firm William Hill? The game to produce under 2.5 goals is 4/9 when betting at Ladbrokes.