Sanchez scores winner as Chile reach last eight

Alexis Sanchez scored the winning goal to send holders Chile through to the Copa America quarter-finals with a hard fought victory over Ecuador.

Chile took the lead inside the opening 10 minutes thanks to a goal by Jose Fuenzalida but Enner Valencia equalised for Ecuador from the penalty spot.

Sanchez scored the winner after half-time, chipping in a side-footed volley to double his goal tally in the tournament.

Ecuadore finished the game with 10 men after Gabriel Achilier’s late red card.

The winning goal was Sanchez’s 43rd for his country. The Manchester United forward had aggravated an ankle injury in the first half before scoring the winner just after five minutes from the break.

“I think I have a sprain, I hope it’s not too serious,” he said. “At half-time they strapped it up, I played on with a bit of pain.”

With the second consecutive win Chile followed Colombia to have qualified for the the knockout stages after two games.

The reigning champions Chile top group C with one group game left to play, against Uruguay on Monday, while Ecuador must beat Japan on the same day to stand any chance of advancing to the knockout stage.