Cuiabá (Brazil) (AFP) – English-born Ben Brereton was the unlikely hero as Chile beat Bolivia 1-0 in the Copa America on Friday.
The 22-year-old Blackburn forward was born in Stoke-on-Trent to an English father and Chilean mother and only made his national team debut on Monday when he came off the bench in Chile’s 1-1 draw with Argentina.
But Brereton, who has played his entire career in the English Championship, was in the right place at the right time to finish off a rapier counter-attack and hand Chile victory.
Chile dominated the first period and could easily have gone in at half-time with a larger lead.
Bolivia’s goalkeeper Carlos Lampe mounted almost solo resistence at times, saving from Jean Meneses, Erick Pulgar and Brereton.
The goal came after Bolivia were caught out by a lightning counter-attack on 10 minutes, with Eduardo Vargas squaring to Brereton, who calmly took one touch to beat a sliding defender and then slotted home with his second.
Soon after, Meneses lashed a shot just past the post and veteran captain Arturo Vidal put a header straight at Lampe.
Bolivia were under the cosh for much of the first half but still came close themselves through Roberto Fernandez, Erwin Saavedra and Ramiro Vaca.
Lampe, though, had to make seven saves before halftime to keep his team in the tie.
Bolivia made a good start to the second half and Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was forced into a sprawling save to deny Saavedra.
The Bolivians created the better second half chances and were unlucky when a shot from substitute Danny Bejarano took a huge deflection before sailing just past the post. But it wasn’t enough to earn their first point of the tournament.
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