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Late goals from Arturo Vidal and Eduardo Vargas gave Chile all three points in a 2-0 win over Cameroon in their opening match in Group B at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow in front of a crowd of 33,492.
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Tournament debutants Chile thought they scored the opening goal right before half-time when Eduardo Vargas’ effort was originally given as a goal, but the video assistant referee called it back as the Tigres UANL forward was in an offside position.
Alexis Sanchez came off the bench in the second half, and the Arsenal forward made an impact when his cross found Vidal, who leapt to head in La Roja’s winning goal in the 81st minute. Vargas eventually got his goal, when he scored on a second-chance opportunity after Sanchez had weaved around Cameroon’s defence and his shot was blocked and eventually fell to Vargas who made no mistake from close range.
FIFA.com team reporter analysis
“Experience made all the difference for the Indomitable Lions. Nervous during the first half, making too many fouls and losing the ball too quickly, the Cameroonians had a big fright before half time but were saved by the VAR. That emotion seemed to free them from the stress during the second half, but ultimately they were punished by two late goals.”
Pascal de Miramon, Cameroon team reporter
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“Chile played a solid first match against a very strong, defensive team. They were in the driving seat throughout most of the game, controlling the ball and creating a quality amount of chances. Coach Juan Pizzi played an important role, as his substitutions helped Vidal offensively, and that paid off near the end when ‘King Arturo’ showed up in the six-yard area to head in the winning goal for a well-deserved win for La Roja.”
Diego Zandrino, Chile team reporter
Budweiser Man of the Match
As one of the stars to watch ahead of kick-off in Russia, Arturo Vidal rose to the occasion when the match felt like it was headed for a goalless draw. The Bayern Munich star headed in Sanchez’s curled cross from inside the penalty area to give his side a crucial three points to start their Russia 2017.
Chile are the sixth South American team to play at the Confederations Cup. Only Europe (ten, including the 2017 edition with debutants Portugal and Russia) has had more teams representing the continent.
Cameroon v Australia – Group B, 22 June
Germany v Chile – Group B, 22 June
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