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Defending Copa America Champions Chile started their campaign with a thumping 4-0 win over Japan.
The young inexperienced Japanese side suffered a 4-0 beating by the current champions of Copa America. Goals from Erick Pulgar , Eduardo Vargas and Alexis Sanchez helped Chile bag the three important points.
Erick Pulgar broke the deadlock late into the second half, when his towering header found the back of the net in the 44th minute. Chile who lacked a little sync in the first half found their flow in the second, netting 3 times.
Eduardo Vargas scored early in the second half from a deflected shot in the 54th minute dpubling their lead. Japan showed good play but lacked finishing.
Sanchez scored in the 82nd minute fighting his way into the Japanese box and heading the ball perfectly into the back of the net. Only a minute later Eduardo Vargas chipped the Japanese goalkeeper from outside the box to make the score 4-0 and seal the win for his team.
Alexis Sanchez who had been a misfit in the Manchester United side, found his form back with the national team as he scored and assisted one goal each.
The young Japanese side play as a guest in this edition of Copa America. The Japanese looked good in the build up play and link-ups but were wasteful with their chances.
Alexis Sanchez in a post match interview said “For six weeks I felt worse than I ever have before,” .I struggled in the first half as I felt stifled but in the second half I was more relaxed and played with more freedom and excitement.”
“I think we have improved as a team since 2015 in defending and getting on the attack quickly,” he added. “We’ve won a very difficult game and now we have to think about our next one.”
Japan have a tough game ahead as they play Uruguay on Friday, 21 /06, and Chile will face Ecuador on Saturday, 22/06.