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Jun 28, 2024 5:49 pm

Facing Copa elimination, Chile needs goals in a hurry vs. Canada

chile alexis sanchez

It’s win or go home for Chile in their final match of Group A at the Copa America when they face a Canada side Saturday that would probably progress with a draw.

That means Chile must do something they haven’t in their first two group matches: score.

Manager Ricardo Gareca’s squad has seen its attacking struggles from 2026 World Cup qualifying continue at the tournament.

In Chile’s 1-0 loss to Argentina on Tuesday night, it took 72 minutes for Chile (0-1-1, 1 point) to register its first of three shot attempts. All three came after Gareca removed the nation’s all-time leading international goal scorer Alexis Sanchez.

Sanchez also misfired on Chile’s best chance in a tournament-opening 0-0 draw against Peru.

But in a press conference Friday, winger Victor Davila insisted the 35-year-old is still very important to Chile’s chances.

“We know that many a time it isn’t your day,” Davila said, through an interpreter. “There are no doubts about it. It’s part of the work, it’s part of football. You can have a good day or a bad day. But we have no doubts on Alexis’ performance.”

Gareca — along with Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni — will serve a one-match suspension on Matchday 3 for their teams’ respective time-wasting at halftime of Argentina’s win.

For Canada (1-1-0, 3 points), only Peru scoring an upset win over Argentina would create a scenario where a draw against Chile isn’t enough to reach the knockouts.

Jonathan David scored in Canada’s 1-0 victory over Peru on Tuesday. Jacob Shaffelburg contributed a perfect cross-field pass to set up David’s 74th-minute winner after coming on as one of three halftime substitutes.

The changes helped Canada grow into the game after a poor first half, and Miguel Araujo’s ejection for Peru boosted Jesse Marsch’s side further following defensive struggles over their first 135 minutes of tournament play.

“I still challenge them that both in the Argentina game and the Peru game, a lot of the wounds came self-inflicted, from us giving bad balls away or being a little careless in dual situations,” Marsch told OneSoccer this week. “I could see that we needed to make changes.”

–Field Level Media

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