Sanchez strikes again to take Chile into Copa quarters

Sanchez strikes again to take Chile into Copa quarters
Soccer Football - Copa America Brazil 2019 - Group C - Ecuador v Chile - Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, Brazil - June 21, 2019 Chile's Alexis Sanchez shoots at goal from a free kick REUTERS/Edgard Garrido -
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By Richard Martin

SALVADOR, Brazil (Reuters) – Chile forward Alexis Sanchez continued his resurgent form at the Copa America by scoring the winning goal in his side’s 2-1 victory over Ecuador on Friday which fired the holders into the quarter-finals of the competition.

Chile took the lead in the eighth minute when Jose Fuenzalida volleyed into the net but Ecuador were awarded a penalty when goalkeeper Gabriel Arias clattered Jhegson Mendez, allowing Enner Valencia to level from the spot in the 26th.

Sanchez, who had ended a barren five-month spell by scoring in Monday’s 4-0 win against Japan, put Chile ahead early in the second half, expertly guiding a bouncing cross into the net with one touch.

Ecuador rarely threatened again and saw defender Gabriel Achilier receive a straight red card in stoppage time for a rash tackle on Arturo Vidal, who had to be taken off.

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.

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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