Alexis celebrates with his team-mates after scoring for Chile against Ecuador

Alexis fires Chile into Copa America's last eight

It's proving to be a cracking Copa America so far for Alexis Sanchez, whose second goal of the tournament secured Chile's place in the quarter-finals.

Our no.7 overcame a minor ankle sprain to net the 51st-minute winner as his side beat Ecuador 2-1 at Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador last night.

Jose Fuenzalida volleyed the holders ahead after eight minutes, only for the Ecuadorians to level through Enner Valencia's penalty.

Alexis Sanchez in action for Chile against Ecuador's Pedro Velasco at Copa America 2019
Alexis takes on Ecuador's Pedro Velasco during Chile's victory.
Alexis then settled the contest shortly after half-time when he looped a first-time shot over goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez from Charles Aranguiz's deep cross.

Ecuador's unsuccessful quest for a second equaliser was hampered late on by Gabriel Achilier's dismissal for elbowing Arturo Vidal. Former United star Antonio Valencia was not in their matchday squad.
The result means Chile need only a draw against rivals Uruguay on Monday to win Group C.

ALEXIS INJURY CONCERN

In a post-match interview, Alexis revealed he needed treatment at half-time after rolling his ankle in the aftermath of a cross.

“I had a bandage on it, took a painkiller and came out again,”
he said.
“I think I have a sprain, I was playing with pain but I hope it's not too serious.”

Alexis Sanchez celebrates his goal for Chile against Ecuador
Alexis has scored two of Chile's six Copa America goals so far.
His coach Reinaldo Rueda confirmed it wasn't the same ankle that Alexis injured in May, adding:
“He was evaluated by the doctors at half-time who said he could continue, although he put lots of ice on it. He made a huge effort in the second half.”


The United forward will hope he's cleared to play against Uruguay as he bids to score for the third game in a row, having also netted in Chile's opening 4-0 win over Japan.

His outing against Ecuador was notable for another reason - his 126th cap means he's now in the top 10 for international appearances by South American players.
 
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