Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez scored a brace as defending champions Chile qualified for the Copa America Centenario quarter-finals following a nervy 4-2 win over Panama in the early hours of this morning.
Panama needed a win to stand a chance of making it beyond the group stages and Miguel Camargo gave them a fifth-minute lead at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia which was his first international goal.
However, Eduardo Vargas equalized just ten minutes later after a neat one-two between Sanchez and Arturo Vidal opened up space at the opposition defense but the Arsenal’s man shot was brilliantly saved by Jaime Penedo only for Vargas to tuck away the rebound.
The Hoffenheim forward added his second two minutes out from the half-time break when he connected a superb cross from Jean Beausejour and headed past the goalkeeper to give Chile the lead.
At the restart, Vargas was again involved in another goal for Chile as he teed up Sanchez to volley home early. The defending champions were comfortable at this point but Panama ensured for a nerve finish as Abdiel Arroyo scored with 15 minutes left on the clock.
But it was Chile that had the last laugh as former Barcelona forward Sanchez struck grabbed his second goal of the night to make it 4-2 and seal their passage into the quarter finals.