Sanchez steals limelight from England debutants
England started the game positively with a couple of chances; a Phil Jones header after 3 minutes was the closest. But then the frustration set in, with Leighton Baines losing Sanchez in the box from a cross from the left, the Barcelona forward headed the ball past Fraser Forster to slot into the front post. Captain Frank Lampard who received his golden gap for 100 appearances nearly had England level game with a long range free-kick but that was again saved by Claudio Bravo.
There were a couple more chances, no more wanting than Adam Lallana, whose shot just before half time which was deflected wide.
The second half was very much more of the same. Chile bossed the midfield over England. Which showed England are going to have to adapt to before the World Cup as Chile played the way most will next summer by keeping the ball, and slowing the game down with fouls in the right areas. Then when they needed to attack, they did so with pace, plenty of crosses and counter attacks.
The moment we qualified my thought was, yes the first team, when all fit can challenge the better teams. The problem is what we don’t have as a national team is back up, the quality in depth to call on players who just slot into the same position and can do a similar level of job. This isn’t a new problem but something that can’t be highlighted enough to keep our hopes on par with what’s realistic. It was only till Townsend came on it was more interesting and stretched the game slightly but this game seemed to be a warm up for the game on Tuesday. The competition, the pace was just left wanting. It’s a shame as if the pressure and pace was there we might have seen more from Rodriguez as it’s a style Southampton have been so successful with.
Sadly a couple of chances wide from Rooney and after several substitutions, England couldn’t produce the goods to get a goal and then in the final minutes whilst on the attack, a stray pass by Gary Cahill set Chile on the attack and who was the man to punish England again Alexis Sanchez, with a tidy chip over Forster to rub it in even further.
Sanchez was all about the talk before the game, about England being soft and on the night he was able to walk the walk, and prove to be the difference.
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