By RYAN TOLMICH
Entering their matchup with Australia, the Chilean National Team had been heralded as one of the tournament’s teams to watch. Boasting a swashbuckling, attacking style of play, La Roja promised to deliver excitement, which is exactly what forward Alexis Sanchez offered in his team’s first half blitz of the Socceroos.
Sanchez was the catalyst for his side, scoring and assisting in a pair of goals that overwhelmed the opposition between the game’s 12th and 14th minutes of Chile’s 3-1 victory.
Sanchez and Chile opened the game as expected, as the La Roja blitzed to an early 2-0 lead. The game’s opener was part of a 18-pass sequence from the Chilean side, with Sanchez earning the reward of the game’s opening goal. For the second, Sanchez turned provider by putting the ball on a platter for an open Jorge Valdivia, who slammed the ensuing shot past Socceroos keeper Maty Ryan.
Despite failing to keep up with the frenetic pace shown early, Chile did enough to earn all three points, mostly due to the early impact of Sanchez. For his efforts, the 25-year-old earned the honors as SBI World Cup Man of the Match, besting Valdivia and Australian star Tim Cahill, who scored the Socceroos lone goal of the evening.
What did you think of Sanchez’s performance? Who stood out the most to you in Chile’s matchup with Australia?
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