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Montevideo, August 4th 2021 - 03:15 UTC

 

 

UK born Blackburn player becomes the star of Chile's national football team

Monday, June 21st 2021 - 07:42 UTC
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The Blackburn forward, (22) was born in Stoke-on-Trent to an English father and Chilean mother. He has played all his career in the English Championship The Blackburn forward, (22) was born in Stoke-on-Trent to an English father and Chilean mother. He has played all his career in the English Championship

Chilean fans are celebrating the new idol of their national football team, English-born Ben Brereton who became the unlikely hero when Chile beat Bolivia 1-0 in the Copa America, hosted by Brazil, last Friday.

The 22-year-old Blackburn forward was born in Stoke-on-Trent to an English father and Chilean mother and only made his national team debut on Monday when he came off the bench in Chile's 1-1 draw with Argentina.

But Brereton, who has played his entire career in the English Championship, was in the right place at the right time to finish off a rapier counter-attack and hand Chile victory.

Chile dominated the first period and could easily have gone in at half-time with a larger lead. Bolivia's goalkeeper Carlos Lampe mounted almost solo resistance at times, saving from Jean Meneses, Erick Pulgar and Brereton.

The goal came after Bolivia were caught out by a lightning counter-attack on 10 minutes, with Eduardo Vargas squaring to Brereton, who calmly took one touch to beat a sliding defender and then slotted home with his second.

Soon after, Meneses lashed a shot just past the post and veteran captain Arturo Vidal put a header straight at Lampe. Bolivia were under great pressure for much of the first half but still came close themselves through Roberto Fernandez, Erwin Saavedra and Ramiro Vaca.

Lampe, though, had to make seven saves before halftime to keep his team in the tie.

Bolivia made a good start to the second half and Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was forced into a sprawling save to deny Saavedra.

The Bolivians created the better second half chances and were unlucky when a shot from substitute Danny Bejarano took a huge deflection before sailing just past the post. But it wasn't enough to earn their first point of the tournament.

The match was played at Cuiabá, capital of the soy/state of Matto Grosso, the same scenario where Chile will be clashing on Monday with Uruguay.

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