Chile Qualify for the World Cup
With a 2-1 victory over Ecuador, Chile booked their tickets to the World Cup in Brazil. Alexis Sánchez and Gary Medel scored for La Roja.
SANTIAGO — Chile managed to hold on to their half-time lead, though the team conceded a goal against Ecuador in the second half. La Roja went to the break with a 2-0 lead, mainly thanks to the head of Alexis Sánchez.
The Tocopilla product latched on to a pass from Eugenio Mena to open the account, while a touch on a Marcelo Díaz corner was picked up by an unmarked Gary Medel.
Ecuador found an equalizer in the second half, with a pass from Antonio Valencia finding Felipe Caicedo. Both players wreaked havoc on the Chilean defensive line in their previous encounter. The introduction of Matías Fernández and Mauricio Pinilla gave an opportunity to two players who have not seen much time on Sampaoli’s version of La Roja, but failed to see Chile increase their lead.
The result means that Chile will play in their ninth World Cup. It is the first time Chile have qualified for the biggest event in the world twice in a row. Sampaoli and his coaching team will receive a US$1 million bonus, having achieved the goal of lifting Chile from out of the qualification zone to power through the final rounds of the South American group.
After Chile’s success, horns could be heard honking through the streets immediately to the tune of CHI-CHI-CHI, LE-LE-LE, VIVA CHILE. Thousands are expected to descend on Plaza Italia, with celebrations likely to carry on through the night.