Well, that was the pre-Copa final match for Chile. La Roja win 1-0 over La Selecta. I've been Zach Drapkin, and thanks for tuning in to this VAVEL USA live of Chile - El Salvador. Have a nice evening.
Two other big stats were corners (Chile 10, El Salvador 2) and saves (El Salvador 12, Chile 2). A solid clean sheet for this La Roja back line and Johnny Herrera.
La Roja controlled possession, 72% to 28%. 17 shots for Chile as well (7 on goal), 9 for El Salvador (only 1 on goal). The accuracy and quality of the goal chances around and inside the box is what shaped this one. Chile played a more refined match and therefore created more open chances, like the Valdivia 14' goal, which ended up deciding the match.
Not a very intriguing match, this one. Chile clearly had the advantage, but El Salvador did have their chances.
90'+3' - That is the end of our match. This truly was a friendly match, just some practice in for both countries. Chile finishes on top, 1-0.
90'+2' - Pinilla misses a chance.
90' - There will be 3 minutes of stoppage time.
90' - Corner, Chile.
87' - Miiko Albornoz of Chile is shown a yellow for a bad foul.
83' - Sanchez has his shot to center goal saved.
77' - Alexis's shot from the free kick is heroically saved after it was a line drive headed straight for the left edge of the net.
76' - Alexis Sanchez draws a foul and therefore a free kick.
72' - Mauricio Pinilla has his shot saved to the left of the goal. Still 1-0.
69' - Pinilla skies a free kick header.
62' - Herrera header is deflected.
62' - Gary Medel concedes a corner.
55' - Yellow Card handed to Jaime Alas.
49' - Sanchez has his header saved.
46' - Second half kickoff has begun.
Chile should try to get at least another brace before this match is over, just to gain confidence. Maybe Alexis Sanchez and Eduardo Vargas could get a 2-man game going.
3 shots is already better than El Salvador's Argentina friendly from this past March, in which they got off a mere 1 shot, and not on target. Chile are trying a bit less that the Argentines did, because without Vidal and Bravo, there is not as much incentive to try to play with full intensity. Just a warm-up for Copa, as that is what it was scheduled to be.
Chile have been playing relaxed soccer for the most part, though, and after scoring, have been relatively dull. That also may be in part due to the improved defending of La Selecta.
The Valdivia goal was the epitome of what all of La Roja's chances could have amounted to - great passes to accurate finish with great player spacing. Many times in the more boring second half of our first 45 minutes, Chile had through balls come inches away from being struck by the legs of Eduardo Vargas, Alexis Sanchez, and others. 7 shots is not bad, but not as dominant as it could have been.
Half time - Saves: 4 El Salvador, 2 Chile
Half time - Possession: 70% Chile, 30% El Salvador
Half time - Corners: Chile 7, El Salvador 1
Half time - Shots thus far: Chile 7 (3 on target), El Salvador 3 (1 on target)
45' - Half time. 1-0 Chile on the Valdivia sliding score from 14'.
43' - Alexis Sanchez places a free kick shot too high, goal kick.
39' - Gary Medel makes a nice tackle to force an El Salvador corner.
38' - Nothing doing. Bunch of crosses and through balls just not connecting for Chile.
31' - Arturo Alvarez has a lefty shot blocked for El Salvador. Not much going on.
27' - Pablo Punyed has a shot blocked for La Selecta.
24' - Alexis Sanchez uses some skill to find Marcelo Diaz for the open strike atop the left side of the box. Just goes wide right. Still 1-0 Chile.
23' - La Roja are not totally slacking off, but their many corners have amounted to nil.
Lots of excellent ball movement and finesse crosses for Chile here. Already lots of scoreable attempts.
19' - Attack for El Salvador, cleared by Chilean defense. Hard work in the back by Mauricio Isla.
18' - Controversial no penalty call there. Sanchez got knocked down in the box just as a skied through ball was headed his way.
16' - An open close wing through ball goes to a blocked cross by the La Selecta keeper.
14' - GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL! Valdivia gets hit wonderfully on a low cross that transitions into a one-touch sliding shot into the bottom left corner of the goal. 1-0 Chile. Jean Beausejour with the brilliant assist.
3/4 possesion right now to Chile - but El Salvador have 4 saves already.
9' - A ground shot by Vargas is just saved beautifully. Great attempt.
8' - Bonilla of La Selecta skies a shot on an open breakaway.
7' - Corner, Chile.
6' - An Alexis Sanchez header is saved.
3' - Eduardo Vargas ripped a shot on goal to set up the first corner, a good chance that narrowly was deflected out the back.
3' - A pair of uneventful corners for Chile after a nice cross into the box to set up both.
1' - Goal kick for El Salvador. Nothing eventful at the start.
AND we have kickoff!
El Salvador does not have their conventional lineup. Lots of playmakers missing.
Herrera is in goal for La Roja.
Lineups have been announced and now the national anthems are being chanted.
10 minutes to go.
The contest will start in around 45 minutes. Stay tuned at VAVEL for your LIVE coverage.
This match really does not affect anything in terms of competition, so it should not get too chippy. The only thing a win here does is bolster the pride and confidence of the victor.
Defender and third-caption Xavier Garcia leads the La Selecta squad with 43 caps for the national team. He will try to limit the chances created by Alexis, Vargas, and the whole La Roja gang.
Captain Andres Flores will look to bring some pride to this side, maybe a goal or two against Chile, who may be experimenting and testing out different scenarios in preparation for Copa America. Attacker Rafael Burgos has the most goals for El Salvador of any player on the active squad, and will need to bring his game against the La Roja Pitbull-led defense.
The best result for La Selecta came this past March, as Argentina entered the match without Lionel Messi on hand for La Albiceleste. Argentina emerged with a 2-0 triumph, but that didn't show the extent of domination executed. The Argentines controlled possession 78% of the time, and outshot El Salvador by an astounding 22-1 margin. El Salvador have no way of competing with historic international dynasties that South America and Europe have to offer.
El Salvador have had rough times internationally lately in the soccer world, losing all three friendlies they have taken part in for the 2014-2015 campaign. The first two came within four days of each other. The first match was a 3-0 win by Colombia, the latter a 5-1 trouncing in favor of Ecuador.
Here is the full squad that will be called to for Copa America. Note that Vidal and Bravo will not play on Friday due to the UEFA Champions League Final.
La Roja has always had a solid prestigious defense and back line. Gary Medel and Mauricio Isla are experienced defenders with the skills to lead a very aggressive and physical back four that will surely not let down. Claudio Bravo won the Zamora Trophy in La Liga with powerhouse FC Barcelona after stellarly protecting his team's net en route to a La Liga title and now a UEFA Champions League Final appearance. Because he and Barça are in the UCL final, Johnny Herrera of Chilean club Universidad de Chile will most likely get the start in goal.
Arturo Vidal of the Italian club Juventus heads the midfield for Chile. He will not be present due to his club's match in the UEFA Champions League Final against FC Barcelona, but that should not affect the result of this match significantly. As long as the middies control possession against El Salvador, which shouldn't be hard to do, Chile will cruise to victory.
Alexis Sanchez and Eduardo Vargas will head the attack for Chile against the lesser La Selecta side. El Salvador most likely will not be able to stop the strongly-paced style of play often used and displayed by La Roja and manager Jorge Sampaoli.
This is the last match La Roja will play before they begin the hosting of the 2015 Copa America. All the Chilean players who belong to clubs overseas, mostly in Europe, have returned already to Chile, and are ready to utilize this match as a scrimmage to boost their confidence and rejuvinate the team's chemistry that was lost during the last few months of international play absence.
Chile are set to take on El Salvador on Friday, June 6, at 6:00 PM ET at the stadium El Teniente in Rancagua, Chile.