The Red Devils forward scored for the first time since January.

The reigning champions Chile opened their defence of the Copa America in style against Japan. Chile beat the AFC Asian Cup runners up by four goals to nil, courtesy to a second-half brace from Eduardo Vargas and a goal each from Erick Pulgar and Alexis Sanchez. Chile took the lead late in the first half through a headed goal from Erick Pulgar and later doubled their lead in the 54th minute.

Of the four goals of the match, Alexis Sanchez’s header at the 82nd minutes was a special one. It was his first goal in any competition since scoring against Arsenal in the FA Cup on 25 January.

Sanchez has struggled since his arrival at Manchester United in January 2018 and Chile’s record goalscorer said, “For six weeks, I felt worse than I ever have before.”

He added, “I struggled in the first half as I felt stifled, but in the second half I was more relaxed and played with more freedom and excitement.”

He suffered a knee injury and then an ankle injury at the end of the recently concluded season. The Manchester United forward provided an assist and a goal in their Copa America opener.

Chile’s victory have placed them at the top of the table along with Uruguay, who too beat their opponent Ecuador 4-0 on Sunday.

Match Highlights: Japan 0-4 Chile

Reinaldo Rueda, Chile’s head coach was pleased with the development of their star winger as he said, “He’s on the right track. We wanted to reserve him for the next games, but he’s recovered well,” he told a news conference.

The coach continued, “Chile have very experienced players, they know each other very well, with a base of many years,” he said. “The current champions usually make a bad debut, but we worked hard not to suffer with that.”

Chile will face Ecuador on Friday while Japan will have another hurdle against Uruguay on Thursday.