Copa America Centenario: Group D results
Chile vs Panama (4-2)
Argentina vs Bolivia (3-0)
Alexis Sanchez and Eduardo Vargas both scored a brace to spare defending Copa America champions Chile the blushes, keeping their team in contention as they joined Argentina on top of Group D and moved in the quarter finals.
But both Panama and Chile had everything to play for, with the both teams needing a win to get through the group stages.
And it was Panama who came through in the beginning, starting strong and with Miguel Camargo’s long-range shot flew underneath Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to give the underdogs an early start.
Chile then pulled off a response in no time to level the game. Alexis Sanchez, who managed only low-key performances before, improved much this time around. He got free in the Panama box and had a shot parried by opposition keeper Jaime Penedo. But there were no worries for Chile as Vargas was right there to slot the loose ball home.
Vargas then added his second with a precise cross from Jean Beausejour just 2 minutes before the second half.
5 minutes after the break, Sanchez powered a volley past Penedo from a Vargas cross to extend Chile’s lead. Still, the advantaged was cut short to a one-goal difference as Bravo misplayed a headed effort from Panama’s Abdiel Arroyo in the 75th minute.
At that point, Panama entire team worked hard to get the two additional goals they sorely need for survival. But Chile merely added to their final tally as Sanchez scores another, this time a close range header.
And with that, Chile wraps the game up at 4-2 and will face Mexico next, a strong contender in the tournament. They need to be more wary then, for there is hardly room for mistakes in the knockout stages.