Alexis Sanchez’s long run of summer festivities is at an end as Chile failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.
They were beaten 3-0 by Brazil in a game they had to win, and will rue defeats against Bolivia and Paraguay in qualification, although as ever there was a bit of Arsenal related drama last night in South America.
Despite being beaten, Chile would have won a place in the playoffs if Colombia had held onto their lead over Peru. However, in the 76th minute the hosts were awarded an indirect free kick from outside the box.
It meant that the ball had to be touched twice, but bizarrely veteran striker Paolo Guerrero curled the ball over the wall straight towards goal.
Even more bizarrely, Arsenal keeper David Ospina made a late effort to keep it out, when he could have just left it, and only succeeded in pushing the ball into the net – giving it the second touch it required.
Guerrero's goal by Peruvian TV.
Narrator: "Indirect free-kick, Paolo!
He takes it… GOAL!
He (Ospina) touched it!
He touched it!" pic.twitter.com/ihNUlVRT3W
— FlamengoENG 🇺🇸🇬🇧 (@FlamengoENG) October 11, 2017
Of course Peru could have scored in the final 15 minutes without that, and Chile really only have themselves to blame for not qualifying, but it was certainly a strange moment to end the group stages of the South American qualifiers.
Alexis will now return to London and we’ll have to wait and see what his frame of mind is like. Infamously, failure to qualify for the 2010 World Cup had a very negative effect on Andrei Arshavin, so we’ll have to see how Sanchez – over whom there are already question marks after failing to leave the club this summer – copes with this setback.
Ospina, held high on the shoulders of his teammates after they booked their place in Russia, is probably very happy though.