Arturo Vidal and Eduardo Vargas scored late on as Chile beat Cameroon 2-0 in a game marred by another controversy surrounding the video assistant referee (VAR).
The Copa America holders, who started with Alexis Sanchez on the bench due to an ankle injury, made a bright start and hit the post in the first minute through Vargas.
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But it was the officials and the VAR who were the talking point after Michael Ngadeu’s header from a free-kick was ruled out for a soft push on Vidal in the build up.
Juan Antonio Pizzi’s side were then left furious when Vargas’ strike in first half stoppage time was eventually chalked off for a marginal off-side.
Pizzi brought on Sanchez, Leonardo Valencia and Francisco Silva in the second half and it paid off when the Arsenal man set up Vidal for the opener.
And Vargas got on the scoresheet in stoppage time after a review from the VAR to seal victory going into Thursday’s game with Australia.
Time to go back to the drawing board with the VAR system? Both games on Sunday had a VAR controversy. Pepe had a goal ruled out in Portugal’s 2-2 draw with Mexico and was system was again in the spotlight when Vargas’ goal was ruled out for the Chileans.
It was a correct decision, according to most camera angles, but it took too long to be chalked off. Rather than clear up confusion, it has just added to it. Especially for people watching on TV who do not know what advice the referee is asking for or getting. Or where he is getting his advice from.
Rugby Union should probably be the example of how the video referee is correctly deployed without adding to the theatre. Still, it should work out right in the longer run.
Gary Medel, Chile – Cameroon
Image credit: Getty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH
Arturo Vidal(Chile): The midfielder produced a string of fine passes to link up well with Vargas. And the Bayern Munich man capped off his tireless display with a fine header.
CAMEROON: Ondoa 7, Mabouka 5, Anguissa 6, Teikeu 5, Ngadeu 5, Moukandjo 6, Aboubakar 6, Bassogog 5, Siani 5, Djoum 6, Fai 5. Subs: Ngamaleu n/a, Mandjeck n/a
CHILE: Herrera 5, Isla 5, Fuenzalida 6, Vidal 9, Vargas 9, Beausejour 5, Medel 5, Jara 5, Aranguiz 6, Diaz 5, Puch 5. Subs: Sanchez 6, Valencia 5, Silva
Arturo Vidal, Chile – Cameroon
Image credit: Getty Images
1’ - POST! Vargas hits the near post with a first-time strike from inside the area. The keeper is lucky that the ball ricocheted off him on the rebound and went over the bar.
4’ - GOOD SAVE! Fuenzalida flicks the ball over the defender's head and gets a shot in on the stretch which Ondoa does well to parry. The keeper is furious with his defence.
17’ - DISALLOWED GOAL! Djoum wins a free-kick after a collision with Vidal. Ngadeu connects with the set piece to head the ball in but the whistle had blown for a push on Vidal in the build-up, that looked a harsh decision.
45’1 - GOAL DISALLOWED BY VAR! Vargas lifts the ball over the keeper from close range after a wonderfully weighted ball from Vidal. But the goal is chalked off for a marginal off-side.
72’ - WHAT A MISS! From the corner, Vargas flicks it on at the near post Isla heads wide from six yards out!
81’ - GOAL FOR CHILE! Sanchez curls in a fine cross from the left for Vidal to head the ball in from close range beyond the keeper.
90’+1 GOAL FOR CHILE! Sanchez is through on goal, his shot is blocked and it falls to Vargas who tucks the ball in from close range after a review from the VAR.
Alexis Sanchez remains on 37 goals for his country, level with Marcelo Salas.
Cameroon have lost five in a row against South American opposition.
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