Japan 0 Chile 4: Sanchez scores as defending champions cruise

By Sports Desk June 17, 2019

Chile's bid for a third straight Copa America title started with a 4-0 win over guests Japan in Sao Paulo on Monday.

Eduardo Vargas scored a second-half brace to go with goals from Erick Pulgar and Alexis Sanchez as the two-time defending champions claimed a comfortable win in Group C.

Japan, who have taken a youthful squad to the tournament, had their chances but lacked a cutting edge.

Pulgar's header and Vargas' deflected strike set up the win, before the latter scored again after Sanchez's effort as Chile joined Uruguay on three points in the group.

Japan made the better start with Takefusa Kubo, signed by Real Madrid last week, central to their energetic opening.

Kubo curled a free-kick over in the seventh minute, before Naomichi Ueda headed a corner straight at Chile goalkeeper Gabriel Arias soon after.

Chile grew into the encounter as Sanchez fired two attempts off target just after the half-hour mark.

They would be rewarded for their period of dominance with the opener, Pulgar heading in a Charles Aranguiz corner in the 41st minute.

Japan almost responded immediately, but Ayase Ueda scuffed a shot wide from an angle after rounding Arias, while Sanchez headed a cross straight at Keisuke Osako at the other end on the stroke of half-time.

Chile doubled their lead nine minutes into the second half through Vargas, whose strike from the edge of the area took a deflection and went in after a Mauricio Isla cutback for his 37th international goal.

Again, Ayase Ueda squandered a chance to respond, firing wide at the back post after a cross from Gaku Shibasaki.

Kubo also had an opportunity after the hour-mark, bursting into the box before shooting into the side-netting from a slight angle as Japan looked for a way back into the game.

Instead, Chile sealed their win in the closing stages through goals from Sanchez and Vargas.

Sanchez headed in a cross from Aranguiz before playing in Vargas, who lobbed Osako after the goalkeeper's rash decision to rush out.

 

What does it mean? Winning start but work to do for Chile

Taking three points was the key for Reinaldo Rueda's men, but there is plenty of room for improvement. They started the encounter scrappily before building into it, which they will hope is a sign of things to come.

Vargas goes past Salas

Vargas has consistently delivered for Chile and his goals were his 37th and 38th at international level. He went past Marcelo Salas and into second on the nation's goalscoring list, moving within four of Sanchez (42).

Kubo shows glimpses for Japan

Most of Japan's good moments came thanks to Kubo, who signed a six-year deal with Madrid last week. He almost set up Ayase Ueda after a nutmeg down the left in the first half and his excellent touch and left foot showed why he has been described as the 'Japanese Lionel Messi', although he squandered a good chance in the second half.

What's next?

Chile's campaign continues against Ecuador on Friday, while Japan take on Uruguay on Thursday.

Related items

  • Juventus to be called Piemonte Calcio on FIFA 20 due to PES deal Juventus to be called Piemonte Calcio on FIFA 20 due to PES deal

    Juventus will be known as Piemonte Calcio on FIFA 20 due to the Italian's club's new exclusive partnership with Pro Evolution Soccer (PES), EA Sports has confirmed.

    The Old Lady jersey was used on the front cover of FIFA 19 with Cristiano Ronaldo, but Konami now have use of official trademarks and intellectual property for the new PES game.

    Instead, a club called Piemonte Calcio shall be created in their place on FIFA, using a custom badge and kits across all game modes.

    The fictious club will, however, still include Juve's real-world players in FIFA 20 and FIFA Ultimate Team

    EA Sports' loss is a result of PES' gain, with the game striking an exclusive "long-term" deal with Juve that will see the club's players recreated via a "full-body 3D scan in order to recreate their likeness in the game as accurately as possible".

    eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020, the next edition's official title, will also boast a link-up with Barcelona, whose players have featured on the covers of the past three PES titles, albeit the deal with the Blaugrana is not exclusive.

    Among the other PES "partnered clubs" that will be fully licensed - though not exclusive - in the game are: Manchester United, Arsenal, River Plate, Palmeiras, Boca Juniors, Bayern Munich, Flamengo, Sao Paulo, Corinthians, Vasco Da Gama and Colo Colo.

    It is not all bad news for EA Sports, however.

    Champions League winners Liverpool have struck a "long-term" deal of their own with the FIFA developers, who will become the Reds' "official football simulation game partner".

  • Paris Saint-Germain bring in Diallo from Borussia Dortmund Paris Saint-Germain bring in Diallo from Borussia Dortmund

    Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed the signing of defender Abdou Diallo from Borussia Dortmund for a reported €32million fee.

    Diallo signed for Dortmund from fellow Bundesliga side Mainz in June 2018 and had an impressive season at Signal Iduna Park, making 28 league appearances.

    But with Mats Hummels returning to Dortmund from Bayern Munich, Diallo has been allowed to depart, with Thomas Tuchel going back to his former club to bring in the 23-year-old.

    The Frenchman, who came through the academy at Monaco and can play at both centre-back and full-back, has penned a five-year contract at Parc des Princes.

    "It is a great honour to be involved with such a prestigious club as Paris Saint-Germain," Diallo said.

    "I have always said that the Parisian project was very attractive. Joining the capital club is another important step in my career.

    "I am committed to giving my all for my new club and look forward to bringing my qualities and desire to this team renowned for its high quality and high ambitions."

  • BREAKING NEWS: Paris Saint-Germain bring in Diallo from Borussia Dortmund BREAKING NEWS: Paris Saint-Germain bring in Diallo from Borussia Dortmund

    Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed the signing of defender Abdou Diallo from Borussia Dortmund for a reported €32million fee.

    Diallo signed for Dortmund from fellow Bundesliga side Mainz in June 2018 and had an impressive season at Signal Iduna Park, making 28 league appearances.

    But with Mats Hummels returning to Dortmund, Diallo has been allowed to depart, with Thomas Tuchel going back to his former club to bring in the 23-year-old.

    The Frenchman, who can play at both centre-back and full-back, has penned a five-year contract at Parc des Princes.

    "It is a great honour to be involved with such a prestigious club as Paris Saint-Germain," Diallo said.

    "I have always said that the Parisian project was very attractive. Joining the capital club is another important step in my career.

    "I am committed to giving my all for my new club and look forward to bringing my qualities and desire to this team renowned for its high quality and high ambitions."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.