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Copa America 2016: Chile hammer Mexico 7-0 with Vargas grabbing four and Sanchez starring

Vargas scored a record four, while Sanchez also starred for Chile en route to a semifinal clash with Colombia

Vargas Alexis Chile Mexico Copa America
Eduardo Vargas and Alexis Sanchez starred for Chile against Mexico

Chile hammered 7 goals past Mexico to set up a semifinal clash with Colombia in the Copa America Centenario. Eduardo Vargas scored a staggering four goals, with Alexis Sanchez also grabbing a goal, while Edson Puch grabbed the first and last goal of the rout, leaving Mexico in tatters.

Lineups:

Mexico (4-3-3): Ochoa; Aguilar, Araujo, Moreno, Layun; Guardado, Duenas, Herrera; Corona, Hernandez, Lozano

Chile (4-3-3): Bravo; Fuenzalida, Medel, Jara, Beausejour; Aranguiz, Diaz, Vidal; Puch, Sanchez, Vargas

First Half

Despite Chile being defending Copa America champions, they began as the underdogs to a Mexican side on a 22-match unbeaten run. However, Chile did appear to have the better side on paper, and nearly displayed why in the 10th minute itself, with Arturo Vidal lofting a gorgeous ball for Edson Puch to chase, but the Chilean striker was excellently marshalled and saw his blocked shot loop wide of Ochoa’s goal.

The partisan crowd inside Levi’s stadium in Santa Clara, California were silenced in the 16th minute when Chile grabbed a deserved lead. Alexis Sanchez did well to keep the ball on the right flank, with the ball eventually being laid off to Diaz to power a shot from the edge of the box that Ochoa could only parry into Puch’s path, allowing the striker to pass the ball into the net and grab his first international goal.

Mexico struggled to create any chance of note as the half progressed, with Javier Hernandez excellently shackled by the Chilean defence. El Tri were left breathing a hugh sigh of relief in the 38th minute, as Vargas slotted the ball in the net at the far post after a cross from Beausejour. His celebrations were short-lived as the goal was correctly ruled out for offside.

The Hoffenheim striker did not have to wait too long to celebrate properly, however, as brillant work from Sanchez on the left ended with a low cross into the box. Vargas’s first touch took him away from his marker, and he finished neatly with his left foot past Ochoa, to put Chile 2-0 up in the 44th minute as Mexico went into the break staring at their first defeat in 23 games.

Second Half

If Mexico had any hopes of mounting a fightback in the second half, they all but evaporated as Chile notched up 3 goals in the opening 12 minutes of the second half. Alexis Sanchez opened the floodgates with a goal in the 49th minute, exchanging a 1-2 with Vidal to receive the ball in space in the box and calmly slot home and triple Chile’s lead.

It was the Eduardo Vargas show after that, as the Hoffenheim striker began a scoring blitzkreig that did not look like stopping. Sanchez pounced on a mistake in midfield and set up Vargas, who curled a finish past Ochoa to make it 4-0 in the 52nd minute.

With Mexico having given up the ghost, Chile tore into their opponents yet again, as Vargas profited from Sanchez’ and Beausejour’s endeavour down the left, after the latter’s shot was parried by Ochoa into Vargas’s path and he responded, notching up his 3rd goal in the space of 13 minutes.

Vargas continued his torment in the 74th minute, after substitute Mark Gonzalez drew Ochoa to him on the left and chipped the ball across goal, with Puch’s shot being blocked and Vargas hammering home his fourth from a narrow angle to make it 6-0.

Edson Puch completed the rout in the 87th minute, after Alexis held the ball up well on the left wing for the umpteenth time, squaring the ball for Vidal to pass through to a charging Puch on the right wing, bursting past his marker into the box and chipping the ball past Ochoa to make it a staggering 7-0 win.

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