Japan 0-4 Chile: Defending champions start with emphatic win

Defending Copa America champions Chile started their 2019 campaign with a 4-0 thrashing of invitees Japan on Monday night.

Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez scored his first goal in five months against an inexperienced Asian side.

Japan’s squad consists of 16 uncapped players as they look to gain experience ahead of the Olympic Games that they host next year.

It took until 41 minutes until Chile made the breakthrough, when Erick Pulgar struck from a corner that wasn’t properly cleared.

Former Queens Park Rangers striker Eduardo Vargas scored twice, either side of United forward Sanchez heading in Chile’s third in the 82nd minute – his first goal for club or country in any competition since scoring against Arsenal in the FA Cup on 25 January.

Chile’s victory puts them joint top of Group C with Uruguay, who beat Ecuador 4-0 on Sunday.

The 2015 and 2017 winners face Ecuador on Friday, whilst Japan will take on Uruguay in their second group game on Thursday.