Chile is showing that it has every intent to defend its Copa America crown.
In a matchup pitting the reigning CONCACAF champion against the reigning CONMEBOL one, Chile thrashed Mexico 7-0 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., earning a place in the Copa America semifinals.
Eduardo Vargas scored four goals, Edson Puch added two and Alexis Sanchez netted one of his own, as Chile was relentless from start to finish in destroying El Tri and handing Mexico its first loss in 11 games under manager Juan Carlos Osorio. Mexico's 22-game unbeaten streak also comes to a crashing halt.
Chile jumped out to the early lead through Puch. Guillermo Ochoa had made a strong diving save on Marcelo Diaz, but he parried it right to Puch, who fired into the vacated net. The goal capped a series of Chilean pressure in the opening quarter hour and stunned the pro-Mexico crowd:
Moments after having a goal nullified for a tight offside call, Vargas scored just before halftime to deliver a dagger to Mexico, which nearly made it through the opening 45 only down 1-0 after being dominated throughout the half.
Sanchez made it 3-0 five minutes into the second half. Chile finished off a pressing sequence with Arturo Vidal slicing a pass through the defense to a late-running Sanchez, and the Arsenal man finished from the center of the box with ease:
Just moments after that, Vargas scored his second and third to make it 5-0...
...And he wasn't finished. Vargas took advantage of slack defending and an inability to recover or clear a ball, finishing from a tight angle into an unguarded net for his fourth of the night. With six goals, he leads all scorers at Copa America.
Chile refused to relent. Puch scored his second in the final moments, after Sanchez pushed forward on the counter. He was halted, but remained composed, picked out a pass and the ball was worked to Puch, who he chipped over Ochoa with ease.
Chile will face Colombia in Wednesday's Copa America semifinal in Chicago.