Alexis Sanchez inspires Chile as Brazil remain mired in World Cup qualifying kickoff

Brazil – missing their influential presence with captain Neymar serving a suspension – were undone by goals from Chile stars Eduardo Vargas and Alexis Sanchez in Santiago.

Vargas, topscorer in Chile’s triumphant Copa America campaign, picked up where he left off in that tournament to fire the hosts into the lead on 72 minutes.

Arsenal star Sanchez then applied the coup de grace in the 90th minute, jabbing home from close range after a wonderful flowing move which ripped Brazil’s defence apart.

Chile manager Jorge Sampaoli hailed his side’s victory, the first by Chile over Brazil since 2000.

“I’m very happy because I have never beaten Brazil, and to beat a team that has caused us so many problems in the past means a lot,” Sampaoli said.

“Brazil are a great team, with great players who will surely be in the next World Cup.”

Brazil had been desperate to move on from a disappointing Copa America campaign which followed their humiliating 7-1 drubbing against Germany in last year’s World Cup semi-finals.

But the Brazilians, lacking the creative flair of Neymar, struggled to find a way through a physical Chile side who were fortunate to finish the game with 11 men.


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