SANTIAGO, Sporting Alert – Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal both passed fitness tests and started for Chile in tonight’s South America World Cup qualifier against Brazil in Santiago. Tonight’s game is the opening World Cup qualifying match for both teams.
GOAL UPDATE: Chile took a 1-0 lead in the contest when Eduardo Vargas neatly guided home a free-kick cross in the 72nd minute. Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez netted the second for the home side in the 90th minute to secure all three points and send Brazil away empty handed. Chile win this one 2-0. Tonight’s win sees Chile joining Colombia and Venezuela as teams to have taken three points from their opening qualifying fixtures.
UPDATE: Both Chile and Brazil have made early substitutions. Brazil replaced defender David Luiz with his fellow PSG team-mate Marquinhos in what looks like an injury, while Chile have made a tactical switch – replacing Francisco Silva with Mark González.
Sanchez and Vidal were doubtful for the game after picking up respective injuries on club duties, but it seems like their problems were minor and they are good to go.
Sanchez, who was dominant for Arsenal against Manchester United on Sunday will join Eduardo Vargas in the Chile attack, with Bayern Munich midfielder Vidal taking up his place in the middle of the park.
Mauricio Isla, Gary Medel, Marcelo Diaz, Jean Beausejour and Claudio Bravo all start as well for the home side.
Meanwhile, Brazil are without captain and leading forward Neymar, who is suspended for two games after his red card in the last Copa America outing.
This means Hulk will lead the attack with Chelsea duo Willian Oscar and Bayern Munich winger Douglas Costa supporting the big man on the front line.
Elias and Luiz Gustavo will pair off in the centre of the pitch.
The experienced Kaka is on the bench, along with Fernandinho, Marquinhos and Lucas Moura.
Brazil are expected to play a 4-2-3-1 formation, while Chile will lineup as 3-4-1-2.
Chile, the 2015 Copa America champions, are undefeated in their last eight games in all competitions and have won five in a row.
Only one draw has been in that period – a 3-3 tie with Mexico in the group stages at the Copa America tournament.
Interestingly, though, Chile’s last defeat came at the hands of Brazil during a friendly international battle at Emirates Stadium in London, in March.
Brazil have won its last two games (friendlies), including a commanding 4-1 hammering of USA in a warm-up clash.
However, Dunga’s men have dropped two of the last three competitive outings.
CHILE TEAM: Bravo, Jara, Valdivia, Diaz, Isla, Medel, Silva, Vidal, Beausejour, Vargas, Alexis Sánchez
BRAZIL TEAM: Jefferson, João Miranda, Dani Alves, David Luiz, Marcelo, Willian, Luiz Gustavo, Elias, Oscar, Douglas Costa, Hulk