Hope for Alaba, Vidal through to semis

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There is still hope that David Alaba and his Austrian team-mates make it to the last sixteen in France. Austria took a point in Saturday evening's goalless draw against Portugal and have to win against Iceland in the last group match on Wednesday to advance to the first knockout round. The Portuguese had several gilt-edged chances, but Austria kept a clean sheet by virtue of luck and defensive discipline. Nani's header and Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty struck the post.

“We're very, very glad we're still in the race. We want to focus on Iceland now and win,” commented Alaba, who surprisingly deputised as playmaker and left the pitch after the hour mark. New FCB signing Renato Sanches did not make an appearance for Portugal.

Vidal banned after Chile thrash Mexico

Arturo Vidal and Chile downed Mexico 7-0 on Saturday (local time), advancing to the Copa America semi-finals. The 70,547 crowd in Santa Clara saw 1899 Hoffenheim striker Edoardo Vargas score a four-goal haul against Mexico. Two-goal Edson Puch and Alexis Sanchez made the scoreline even harder to believe.

On a less positive note, Vidal collected a second booking and is suspended for Wednesday's meeting with Colombia. The USA and Argentina contest the other semi-final on Tuesday.


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