Vargas brace as Chile rout Japan
Eduardo Vargas scored twice as Chile launched the defense of their Copa America crown with an emphatic 4-0 defeat of Japan in Sao Paulo on Monday.
Sao Paulo (AFP): Eduardo Vargas scored twice as Chile launched the defense of their Copa America crown with an emphatic 4-0 defeat of Japan in Sao Paulo on Monday.
Vargas, who plays for Mexico club Tigres UANL, netted twice in the second half as Chile gradually overpowered a skillful but limited Japan, who are playing in the South American showpiece as one of two invited teams from Asia.
Erick Pulgar had opened the scoring for Chile in the first half before Vargas doubled the 2015 and 2016 champions' advantage with a deflected second-half strike.
Manchester United's Alexis Sanchez then took his Chilean record goals tally to 42 after diving to head home in the 82nd minute before Vargas scored the pick of the goals moments later with a deft lob over Japan goalkeeper Keisuke Osako. The win saw Chile join Uruguay at the top of Group C, level on points and goal difference. "The important thing is that we move on now with humility," said Chile coach Reinaldo Rueda. "This win doesn't suddenly make us a dream team, just as we weren't the disaster that our critics were saying we were before."