Chile booked their place in the semi-finals of Copa America, as Mauricio Isla scored a late winner against the Copa holders Uruguay. The home fans were delighted and went wild with celebrations.

The hosts dominated in a scrappy, ill-tempered encounter at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago on Wednesday night, as their players Eduardo Vargas and Arturo Vidal both went close to score.

But the game really sprung into life in the 65th minute, when Edinson Cavani, who plays for Paris Saint-Germain, was given his marching order for two bookable offences.

The Uruguayan striker, whose father was involved in a fatal car crash earlier in the week, was already on a yellow card when he was booked for the second time for slapping Chile's Gonzalo Jara for pocking his backside. Cavani was outrageous and pleaded with the referee for several minutes, before being persuaded to leave the pitch by his team-mates.

Television images examined afterwards showed Jara's inappropriate behaviour, which went unnoticed by the referee; the South American confederation will now investigate the incident, but there are rumours that the management of Jara's current club Mainz are already reacting and are prepared to let the player go, as they are unimpressed with his behaviour.

After the Jara - Cavani incident, the 2011 Champions managed to hold out with ten-man until, with eight minutes remaining, Isla, who was on loan at QPR last season, scored for the hosts. Then, to compound the record champions misery, with two minutes remaining, the second Uruguayan red card followed; Porto full-back Jorge Fucile was sent off for a second bookable offence, leaving his team to play with nine-man.

Chile have never won the Copa America since the competition's launch in 1916, and they are now big favourites for a place in the final. They will face Peru in the next round; A hat-trick by Paolo Guerrero secured Peru's 3-1 winagainst Bolivia on Thursday.

The other two Copa America quarter-finals feature Argentina against Colombia on Saturday, and Brazil versus Paraguay on Sunday.