Alexis Sanchez continued his rich vein of form and fired his side to a 2-1 victory over Ecuador on Friday which qualified the holders into quarter-finals of the Copa America 2019
Chile opened the lead with an eighth minute goal when Jose Fuenzalida volleyed into the net but Ecuador equalised with a penalty scored by Enner Valencia in the 26th minute.
Sanchez, who had not scored for five months prior to his goal against Japan on Monday, put his side in the lead early in the second half, expertly guiding a bouncing cross into the net with one touch.
Ecuador rarely threatened in the game and saw defender Gabriel Achilier receive a straight red for his dangerous tackle on Arturo Vidal in stoppage time.
Alexis Sanchez later revealed that he had sustained an ankle injury in the first half.
“After a cross I rolled my ankle but I put a bandage on it, I took a pill for the pain and I came out again,” he told reporters.”
I think I have a sprain, I was playing with pain but I hope it’s not too serious.”
Chile coach Reinaldo Rueda praised Sanchez for playing on, adding that the ankle was not the same one he injured in May.
“He was evaluated by the doctors at halftime who said he could continue, although he put lots of ice on it at halftime. He made a huge effort in the second half,” he said.
“We’ll evaluate it again but we hope it isn’t serious.”
Chile, Copa champions in 2015 and 2016, lead Group C on six points. Uruguay are second on four with Japan third on one and Ecuador bottom with no points.
Final Score : Chile 2 – Ecuador 1
Ecuador: Goal: E. Valencia (pen. 26’) Red Card: Achilier (90’)
Chile: Goals: Fuenzalida (8’), Alexis (51’)