Braces from Arturo Vidal and Mauricio Pinilla put Chile’s World Cup qualifying campaign back on track after a 4-1 win over Venezuela on Tuesday.
Atalanta striker Pinilla scored once in each half in Barinas as Juan Antonio Pizzi’s men claimed a much-needed win, completed with a second-half brace from Vidal.
The result ended a run of three qualifiers without a victory for Chile, who won for the first time under Pizzi in his second game in charge.
Chile had fallen behind to a stunning Romulo Otero free-kick after just nine minutes, the midfielder scoring from range.
But Pinilla headed in a Sanchez corner and then side-footed in a second before Vidal sealed the win with a double.
Chile regained Vidal in midfield, but were without goalkeeper Claudio Bravo after his late booking against Argentina.
Venezuela made numerous changes, including a forced one with West Brom striker Salomon Rondon suspended.
The hosts had enjoyed the better start and took the lead after nine minutes.
Out wide and 40 yards from goal, Otero spotted Johnny Herrera – Bravo’s replacement – off his line and his vicious free-kick went over the keeper, giving him no chance.
Chile largely struggled to penetrate, but Venezuela defender Jose Manuel Velazquez almost turned a cutback past his own keeper on the half-hour.
However, the visitors equalised in the 33rd minute through Pinilla, who powered an Alexis Sanchez corner past Jose Contreras.
Vidal had a great chance minutes before half-time, but his glancing header from a Sanchez cross went just wide as Chile took control of the encounter.
Pinilla failed to capitalise on an Oswaldo Vizcarrondo error on the stroke of half-time, blazing well over after the defender’s poor clearance.
Chile continued to push after the break and Gary Medel sent a header wide before Pinilla put them ahead.
Jean Beausejour put in a lovely cross from the left and Pinilla side-footed his finish into the bottom corner.
Chile were perhaps lucky not to be reduced to 10 men when Gonzalo Jara brought down Josef Martinez, who was one-on-one, but the defender was shown a yellow card.
They added a third through Vidal in the 72nd minute as the midfielder received a pass from Fabian Orellana in acres of space before placing a finish into the bottom corner from inside the area.
Sanchez set up Vidal for the easiest of fourth goals in the second minute of additional time, passing to the midfielder for a tap-in.
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