La Roja have never won South America’s premier national tournament, finishing runners-up on four occasions, but Arturo Vidal’s 67th-minute penalty and Eduardo Vargas’ late strike on the counter helped the hosts make a perfect start in Group A in this year’s competition opener. The occasion was soured slightly when substitute Matias Fernandez was sent off in added-on time but it did not effect the result, with Chile dominating from start to finish and Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez showing just why he will be one to watch in the coming weeks.
The former Barcelona man was a key presence in the opening minutes, first cutting through the Ecuadordefence and skewing a shot wide before his attempted lob was well read by Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez. The visitors were being increasingly penned into their own half by a rampant Chile side, roared on by their own fans. Swansea City winger Jefferson Montero looked threatening in a rare foray forward but he lacked support, although Ecuador were managing to maintain resolute in defence as they sought to spoil their hosts’ party inside the capital city stadium.