Chile too hot to handle as Alexis sinks England

Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:01pm EST
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By Mike Collett

LONDON (Reuters) - Chile confirmed they are likely to pose a serious threat at the World Cup with a 2-0 win over an experimental England side thanks to an Alexis Sanchez double as the visitors largely dominated Friday's friendly at Wembley.

Alexis scored with a superbly timed header after seven minutes and added the second in stoppage time to stretch Chile's unbeaten run to 10 games and inflict fellow finalists England's first defeat for a year and a day after 10 matches undefeated.

"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," Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli said of the Barcelona man's possible impact next year in Brazil.

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

England coach Roy Hodgson gave debuts to Celtic keeper Fraser Forster and Southampton team mates Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez. With his captain Steven Gerrard and other regulars missing, England played well in patches but lacked the harmony of the South Americans.

Hodgson, though, was not too disheartened, telling reporters: "It is going to be hard to make too many immediate judgments, but it was very positive because of what we learnt from the game. One thing we learnt was that we have to play better against Germany on Tuesday."

England, who also lost 2-0 on Chile's last visit to Wembley in 1998, were the first to settle and visiting goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was forced into making two important saves in the opening 15 minutes from Phil Jones and Frank Lampard.

Chile gradually took control, though, and were the deserved winners, with the victory wrapped up by Alexis when he lobbed Forster a minute from the end.   Continued...

England's goalkeeper Fraser Forster looks down after a goal by Chile's Alexis Sanchez during their international friendly soccer match at Wembley Stadium in London November 15, 2013. REUTERS/Toby Melville