Two goals from Udinese striker Alexis Sanchez wrapped up a comfortable victory for Chile against Zambia but the South American side didn’t have it all their own way in their penultimate warm-up game before next month’s World Cup finals in South Africa.
The Chipolopolo, who were losing quarter-finalists at the African Cup of Nations back in January, provided a gritty test for Marcelo Biesla’s men and although they had their share of possession in the opening 45, they lacked the necessary quality up front as Claudio Bravo was only called into action to deal with a handful of long range efforts.
For their part the Chileans pieced together some decent build up play but also lacked that telling final ball and scoreless it remained at the break with neither goalkeeper really stretched in the opening exchanges.
Biesla introduced four new faces at the break and the change brought a fresh impetus to the attack. Chile went in front seven minutes in when Jorge Valdivia slipped Carlos Carmona into space down the left and as goalkeeper Kalililo Kakonje emerged off his line, Carmona squared it to Sanchez who tapped home from close range for his ninth international goal.
After going in front the South American side were in complete control and but it wasn’t until the closing stages that they made that dominance count.
Sanchez took possession on the edge of the box and flicked it right to open up space to shoot before driving a blistering low drive across goal, which Kakonje had no chance of stopping.
Two minutes later la Roja sealed the win with a fine strike from the outstanding Valdivia. The 26-year-old midfielder ran onto Jean Beausejour’s low cross to smash a thunderous right footed effort to the net from just outside the 18-yard box.
Chile take on Northern Ireland in their final warm-up game on Sunday night as things look to be coming together for Biesla’s men.