Alexis Sanchez became Chile's leading goal scorer but he was unable to celebrate the occasion with a victory after Germany struck back in a 1-1 Confederations Cup draw at the Kazan Arena. This summer in Russian Federation, then, is a chance to make a statement on a global stage: They're no longer plucky outsiders, as they were in the past two World Cups, but deserve to be taken seriously as reigning South American champions.
Sanchez has just one season left on his contract with the Gunners.
Alexis Sanchez returned to the line up and his impact was immediate.
"I'm very happy to be Chile's top-scorer now, our dream is to win this tournament and we feel we have a chance", said Sanchez, who refused to be drawn about his Arsenal future.
City have been joined by the likes of Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain in chasing Sanchez this summer, and now believe they can get the deal done. Chile needed 81 minutes to find a breakthrough against a stubborn Cameroon side before going on to win 2-0.
He sent his pass straight to Sanchez who played a one-two with Vidal and toe-poked the ball in off the post. Chile pay the price for not making their dominance count.
Twenty minutes into the game Chile's striker Eduardo Vargas made a unsafe shot from behind a penalty line but the ball crashed into the upper poll with only an inch missing instead of burning the net. Before halftime, that toil would pay off. From the corner of the penalty area, his effort spun viciously, but it rose too high to come back down in time.
Australia, though, are a side that show a lot of character and fight in their matches - 3 losses in the last 3 years is proof of that. Neither was particularly interested in ramping up the intensity in this middle game of the group stage.
Chile and Germany head into their second game tied on three points despite playing one game fewer than group opponents Cameroon and Australia. And given that the the latter two had tied 1-1 earlier in the day, that meant a draw here would pretty much guarantee that both teams would advance to the semifinals. "We can win this tournament, fight for the World Cup and we have the Copa America". Those are tall orders. Chile were held to a 1-1 draw by a strong if inexperienced Germany but it would not be unfair to say they deserved more.