Chile recorded its third straight win under the managerial stewardship of Jorge Sampaoli after they defeated Egypt 2-1 in the Estadio Vicente Calderon overnight.
This was Jorge Sampaoli’s first match with the full squad at his disposal and he sprung somewhat of a surprise with Bryan Rabello, fresh off qualification for the Under 20 World Cup, getting a berth in the starting XI.
The Egyptians started the match strongly as the Chilean back three of Gary Medel, Gonzalo Jara and José Rojas struggled with Sampaoli’s high defensive line, which their opponents exploited ruthlessly but were let down by some poor finishing. In the twelfth minute a pinpoint long ball from Mohamed Abou-Treika released Mohamed Salah but failure to control the ball and Chilean keeper Claudio Bravo was quick to clear the danger.
A minute later Bravo was again called into action as he tipped a long range effort from Hosni Abd-Rabou onto the crossbar before denying Ahmed Temsah from close range in the 19th minute. Moments later Bravo, whose position in the national team has been questioned in recent times, again denied Tesmah with a point blank save.
After the early onslaught la roja slowly got into the game with Arturo Vidal starting to impose himself on proceedings, combining well with Juventus teammate Mauricio Isla on the right wing. It was this combination that provided Chile with their best chance of the half as Vidal released Isla who got to the byline and crossed to Alexis Sánchez who somehow manage to fluff his lines from six yards out.
At the half time interval Sampaoli decided to substitute both Bryan Rabello and Humberto Suazo, both of whom had been non-existent in the first half, and replace them with Eduardo Vargas and Marcelo Díaz. The substitutions had an immediate effect with la roja looking much more dangerous in attack as the introduction of Díaz allowed both Arturo Vidal and Carlos Carmona, who was making his first appearance since being suspended following the christening debacle, to be much more involved.
Chile’s opening goal came in the 60th minute when Egyptian substitute Omar Gaber was dispossessed by fellow substitute Díaz in a dangerous position before Sánchez put through Vargas, who fired a low shot across the keeper and into the bottom corner.
Arturo Vidal almost doubled the lead four minutes later after superbly sidestepping Egyptian defender Adam El-Abd but his subsequent shot was blocked by goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy. However Ekramy could do nothing two minutes later after he parried an Alexis Sánchez shot into the path of Carlos Carmona, who fired home.
Chile controlled much of the play after the goals and caused plenty of headaches for the Egyptian defence. However, it was the Egyptians who managed to pull a goal back in the shadows of full time as they capitalised on a defensive mix up between Rojas and Medel with Mohamed Salah finding the back of the net.