Winning the Copa America twice in a row doesn’t mean that there’s breathing space for Chile’s national team. Indeed, it’s only served to raise expectations, but after losing 3-0 away to Ecuador, Chile are now 7th in the South America qualifying group for Russia 2018.
Four teams go through automatically and the fifth placed goes to a play-off. Chile are five points off fourth place, and panic is setting in.
La Tercera newspaper says it was a ‘disaster’ and the reporting is that Ecuador battered Chile, and if anything should have won the game by more goals. It’s stated by La Tercera that not one player performed as they should do whilst wearing a Chile shirt, there’s no exceptions and nobody is ‘saved from shame’.
Ecuador are notoriously hard to play away from home and are currently third in the table. Brazil beat them 3-0 in Quito last month in a really good result for the away team, and that will of course have left Chile expecting similar.
Even Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez, a complete national hero, is on the end of criticism for his performance. La Tercera say it was one of the worst performances from the Arsenal player and almost all his attempts at dribbling failed.
It’s not great for Sanchez, but, from Arsenal’s perspective, at least he didn’t get himself injured.