Cyprus Mail

Chile crush Bolivia, Ecuador beat Mexico

Chile's Aranguiz (2nd L) celebrates his goal against Bolivia

Hosts Chile brushed aside Bolivia 5-0 at the Copa America on Friday to finish top of Group A and ensure they remain in the capital Santiago for their quarter-final.

Midfielder Charles Aranguiz scored twice and Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez grabbed his first goal of the tournament as Chile cruised to victory in a one-sided encounter at the national stadium.

Full back Gary Medel added a fourth, Bolivian captain Ronald Raldes scored an own-goal and Sanchez hit the woodwork twice against a Bolivia side that offered little in the way of resistance.

Despite their defeat, Bolivia finished second in the group and also progress to the last eight.

Ecuador, who beat Mexico 2-1 earlier, will have to wait for other results to see if they go through, while Mexico, who came to the Copa with an understrength side, are eliminated.

“I’m happy with the victory and for the number of goals we scored because we weren’t scoring enough,” playmaker Jorge Valdivia said.

“It’s best for it to be this way, for us to be getting better with each match. We have to keep on improving.”

Chile made the perfect start, Aranguiz putting them ahead after three minutes.

Medel launched a long ball forward, striker Eduardo Vargas hooked it back with his first touch and Aranguiz ran on to it to fire home a powerful shot from the edge of the box.

After Sanchez had hit both posts, he finally found the back of the net after 37 minutes, meeting a Valdivia cross with a diving, glancing header into the bottom corner.

The Chileans continued their domination after the break, Aranguiz scoring his second from close range in the 66th minute.

Medel, a hard-tackling defender, capped a fine night for the hosts with a goal worthy of a striker, chesting down a pass from Valdivia before chipping a delicate lob over the oncoming goalkeeper.

Raldes then deflected a right cross into his own goal to complete a miserable night for the Bolivians.

Ecuador eliminated Mexico from the Copa America on Friday with a 2-1 win that left the victors sweating on a quarter-final berth as one of the best third-placed teams.

Ecuador had never beaten Mexico in the tournament but attacked from the kick-off and scored with one of the few clear chances of the first half.

Miler Bolanos broke from his own half and fed Enner Valencia on the left before a return pass left him with a simple tap-in from two metres.

The pair combined again for a second goal after 57 minutes. Bolanos stole possession near the halfway line and his neat through-ball allowed the West Ham United striker to score.

Mexico scored seven minutes later from the penalty spot, with Raul Jimenez making no mistake from the spot after defender Gabriel Achilier had climbed all over Hugo Ayala.

The result saw Ecuador leapfrog Mexico into third place in Group A behind Chile and Bolivia who have both already qualified and meet later on Friday.

The top two teams from each of the three groups qualify automatically along with the two best third-placed sides.

Ecuador have three points and a goal difference of -2 so must hope rivals in groups B and C lose heavily on the weekend.

Mexico, meanwhile, extended their shocking Copa America run to six games without a win.

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