Group A – Match 6 (June 19, 2015)
Estadio Nacional, Santiago, Chile
Chile fans were oblivious to Arturo Vidal’s midweek misadventure as the hosts demolished a hapless Bolivia, who were otherwise relieved to have qualified from their group as well. Chile have scored 10 goals in all of their group matches, something which most teams are not able to muster in an entire tournament.
As the teams walked on to the pitch, one of the fans greeted Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal with a banner reading, “If you don’t score, you will s*** on all of Chile.” As their fans cheered them on, Chile opened their lead in the 2nd minute with a terrific volley from Charles Aránguiz, after Gary Medel’s long ball was passed back to him by Eduardo Vargas with an excellent first touch. Alexis Sanchez, who had not entered the scorers chart in the Copa so far, went close twice with his free-kicks. However, he was rewarded late in the 1st half, when he headed in a goal after a perfect one-two with Jorge Valdivia. Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli sighed with relief as his team walked out with a 2-0 lead at half-time.
Vidal and Sanchez were taken off, wisely by Sampaoli, to reserve their strength for the knockout stages, while Ángelo Henríquez of Manchester United and Matías Fernández, who was sent off in Chile’s 1st group match, were brought on. Bolivia too tried to inject fresh blood in to their game by introducing Bejarano and Miranda, in places of Edemir and Veizaga. Despite the substitutions, they could not find their way back in the game, with Moreno’s shot reaching Claudio Bravo’s gloves safely. Chile killed the match as Aránguiz scored his 2nd goal, when Angelo Henriquez found him unmarked at the edge of the six yard area. From then on, it was Chile all over the pitch, as they added their fourth and fifth goals, with a chip from Valdivia, and an own-goal from Ronald Raldes.
The outcome of this match was never much of a surprise, but the way Chile played, it must send Argentina and Brazil grave reminders – Chile look possessed by ‘Goal Demons’, Vidal’s off-field behaviour is highly suggestive of this. Ecuador are on 3rd position in Group A with their 2-1 victory over Mexico. The finals places for Group B will be decided tonight.