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COPA: Vargas scores four as Chile wallop Mexico 7-0



COPA: Vargas scores four as Chile wallop Mexico 7-0

Eduardo Vargas scored four goals as Chile hammered Mexico 7-0 to reach the semi-finals of the Copa America Centenario in spectacular style.

Edson Puch book-ended the scoring at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara and Vargas took his tally to six in the last two games, while Alexis Sanchez scored Chile’s third goal and had a hand in several more.

The rout means Chile, who also scored four in their final group game against Panama, will go into Wednesday’s last-four clash with Colombia in Chicago in ever more confident mood, while Mexico return home to lick their wounds.

Nestor Araujo’s tackle denied Puch, playing in place of the suspended Mauricio Isla, an opener in the first few minutes.

But he made the breakthrough in the 16th minute when Sanchez’s flick and Charles Aranguiz’s pull-back combined to create the chance, Guillermo Ochoa parried Marcelo Diaz’s shot and Puch sidefooted home his first international goal.

Vargas was denied a second after the referee’s assistant correctly ruled him just offside when tapping in Jean Beausejour’s cross.

Arturo Vidal brought down Jesus Duenas to earn his second booking of the tournament, leaving him suspended for the semi-final – and just before half-time, Vargas took Chile another step towards the last four.

Sanchez pulled the ball back from the left and the centre-forward fired home left-footed from eight yards. Seven minutes after half-time, it was emphatically all over for Juan Osorio’s side.

First Vidal dispossessed Hector Herrera in a dangerous position and teed up Sanchez to finish from 10 yards.

And just moments later, Aranguiz and Sanchez combined to send Vargas in behind the Mexican defence and he gave Ochoa no chance.

It was five after 57 minutes as Ochoa parried Beausejour’s low cross straight to Vargas, who completed his hat-trick and moved ahead of Argentina’s Lionel Messi as the tournament’s leading scorer.

Vidal’s left-foot effort bounced over the crossbar and from a rare attack at the other end, Jose Pedro Fuenzalida’s block denied Carlos Pena a consolation goal.

Ochoa palmed away another Sanchez effort but the sixth came when Puch’s close-range shot was blocked by Miguel Layun and Vargas followed up to ram the ball home.

Javier Hernandez’s blast was deflected wide by Enzo Roco as Mexico vainly sought a consolation, and it was Puch who rounded off the scoring with a neat clip over Ochoa after Sanchez’s reverse pass.

In the other semi-final, Argentina beat Venezuela 4-1 to set up a last-four encounter with hosts USA in Houston on Tuesday.

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