Chile coach lauds two-goal Alexis after Wembley win

Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:15pm EST
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By Mike Collett

LONDON (Reuters) - Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli hailed two-goal Alexis Sanchez after his team's 2-0 friendly victory over England on Friday while counterpart Roy Hodgson was left looking for crumbs of comfort following his first home defeat.

Two superb strikes from Barcelona forward Alexis lent an air of deja-vu to a wintry night because Chile also won 2-0 with a double from Marcelo Salas the last time they played at Wembley in 1998.

Sampaoli, who has guided his side to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil by finishing third in South American qualifying, told reporters: "It's a day of history for Chile to win at the cathedral of football.

"It will make everyone in Chile very happy and it was a memorable performance from Alexis Sanchez. He showed tonight he can be a real star of the World Cup.

"A performance like this at Wembley tonight stands him in good stead to have a really good tournament. He showed his class," added Sampaoli.

Alexis scored with an opportunist diving header after seven minutes before adding a sublime second goal four minutes into stoppage time when he profited from a mistake by England defender Gary Cahill.

Running in on goalkeeper Fraser Forster, the Chile striker waited for his moment before expertly lifting the ball over the helpless debutant.

Sampaoli was asked if the victory, based on inspired midfield invention from Marcelo Diaz and Matias Fernandez, meant his team were among the favorites to win the trophy in Brazil.   Continued...

Chile manager Jorge Sampaoli attends a media conference at Wembley Stadium in London November 14, 2013. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh