Chile took a big step towards qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after recording a relatively comfortable 3-1 victory over Bolivia in the Estadio Nacional making them the only team to record two wins in the latest round of CONMEBOL qualifiers.
Jorge Sampaoli was forced into one change following the weekend defeat of Paraguay with Mauricio Isla missing through suspension. This forced change marked the return of David Pizarro to the national team, almost eight years since his last match which came against Ecuador during Chile’s unsuccessful 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign. Pizarro slotted into the centre of midfield alongside Arturo Vidal and Marcelo Díaz.
Chile started the match very much on the front foot and had numerous chances in the opening minutes to open the scoring before Eduardo Vargas did just that in the sixteenth minute. Two minutes later Chile doubled their advantage courtesy of Alexis Sánchez who headed home an Arturo Vidal cross.
After going two goals up the home side took their foot off the pedal allowing Bolivia to get a foothold in the game. They managed to pull a goal back on the half hour mark as Marcelo Martins Moreno capitalised on a Pizarro error to give the visitors some hope of getting at least a point.
Whilst Chile controlled much of the remainder of the match their performance wasn’t as assured as their effort against Paraguay in Asuncion on Friday night and their fans had to wait until the 93rd minute to be sure of the three points as Vidal headed home a Jean Beausejour cross.
After the win Chile still remained in fourth position on the qualification table but they are now equal with third placed Ecuador on twenty-one points and more importantly they are five points ahead of fifth placed Uruguay. Four points in their last three matches will be enough for Chile to qualify for their second successive World Cup.
Chile 3-1 Bolivia