Chile finalised their World Cup preparations with back to back wins on Sunday. A weakened side edged past Northern Ireland before a stronger selection thrashed Israel 3-0 in the second game of a victorious double header.
Esteban Parades’ first half goal was enough to decide a rather insipid affair against the Irish in Chillan before the squad made the journey to Concepcion to take on Israel. Parades rose at the back post to guide a Matias Fernandez corner past Irish goalkeeper Alan Blayney after half an hour.
Blayney went on to deny Marco Estrada and Gonzalo Fierro with decent saves before Chile had strong penalty claims waved away after an apparent foul on Parades. Teenage striker Johnny Gorman missed Ireland’s best chance, blasting high and wide when clean through on goal.
The victory over Israel produced a far more convincing performance from the home side. Goals from Humberto Suazo, Alexis Sanchez and Rodrigo Tello maintained Chile’s winning run as they head to South Africa to take on Honduras in their opening game in Group H.
Chile were dominant throughout at the Estadio Municipal and broke the deadlock after good work from Jorge Valdivia. He slid an excellent through ball to Carlos Carmona on the right who teed up Suazo to smash home from close range.
Chile continued to press after half time and Alexis Sanchez added to his brace against Zambia last week with an excellent effort here. Sanchez seems to be hitting form at exactly the right time and burst through the middle of the field before hitting a low shot into the corner of the net.
The final goal came in the final minute and gave the scoreline an added gloss that didn’t flatter Chile. Tello capitalised on a poor clearance to volley home from the edge of the box.