Copa America winners Chile managed to retain the ABC World Cup throughout October’s international break, with two wins in their qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup.
Firstly, last Friday (the 9th), they beat previous holders Brazil 2-0, their first victory over the Selecao in 15 years. It took them a while to find the opening, but with 18 minutes remaining, Eduardo Vargas swept home past Jefferson before Alexis Sanchez added an 88th-minute second.
They then visited Peru on Wednesday (the 14th), and once again the aforementioned Hoffenheim and Arsenal stars were the key players in a thrilling 4-3 win in Lima. Chile took an early lead when a through ball from Mauricio Isla found Sanchez in the box and he slotted past goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.
Peru equalised in the 10th minute through Jefferson Farfan, but they were reduced to 10 men in the 23rd minute after Christian Cueva was sent off for a kick at Jorge Valdivia. However, they still managed to grab the lead when Farfan converted a 36th-minute penalty.
Chile pulled level four minutes before halftime when striker Vargas scored from Valdivia’s pass and went ahead with Sanchez’s second goal in the 44th. Vargas scored his second four minutes into the second half after running onto a pass from Sanchez and wrong footing Gallese.
A double save by Gallese from Arturo Vidal then Valdivia prevented Chile from scoring a fifth after an hour and Paolo Guerrero struck Peru’s third in added time.
The two wins mean that Chile currently sit joint top of South American qualifying with six points along with Uruguay and Ecuador. The top four teams will reach the World Cup in Russia automatically, whilst the side that finishes fifth enters a play-off against a team from the Oceania Football Confederation.
Chile will aim to keep up their 100% record in their next games in November and at the same time hope to get closer to Brazil’s ABC World Cup record of holding the trophy for games.
Here are their next four fixtures:
- Chile vs Colombia (13th November)
- Uruguay vs Chile (17th November)
- Chile vs Argentina (20th March)
- Venezuela vs Chile (28th March)
And here is what has gone on in the ABC World Cup since it’s introduction on this blog in July 2014…