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Football | Africa

Jorge Sampaoli © Action Images

Chile beat Senegal on Sampaoli's debut

Jorge Sampaoli, charged with putting Chile's World Cup qualifying campaign back on track, made a winning start as their coach with a 2-1 international friendly victory over Senegal who finished the match with nine men.

Sampaoli's side, picked only from the domestic league, started on Tuesday's friendly at La Portada in the northern city of La Serena poorly with two bookings and conceded a goal in the 10th minute.

Senegal, who failed to qualify for the African Nations Cup, went ahead when Hassing Soumare stole the ball, crossed halfway and sent a long pass to Pape Sane, who rounded a defender and scored with a fierce right-foot shot.

Chile came out fighting for the second half and Carlos Munoz equalised in the 52nd minute, heading home a Fernando Meneses cross after losing a defender.

Meneses gave the home team victory in the 65th minute with a penalty after a foul on substitute Patricio Rubio.

"We're very happy. These kinds of matches are good to improve the team's functioning. We had some problems but the important thing is that we started this process with a victory in front of our people," Chile captain Jose Rojas told local television.

Senegal finished the match with nine men after Mbaye Moussa Ndione and Khassim Soumare were sent off in the second half.

Chile have dropped to sixth in the 16-match South American World Cup qualifying group with 12 points from nine games, eight points behind leaders Argentina. Chile face Peru and Uruguay in March.

Sampaoli, an admirer of Marcelo Bielsa who steered Chile to their first World Cup in 12 years in 2010, is their third Argentine coach in succession, having replaced the sacked Claudio Borghi in December after making his name with top Chilean side Universidad de Chile.

Senegal lead Group J in the second round of the African qualifiers with four points from two matches.

They will be under new coach Alain Giresse for their next qualifier at home to Angola in March. The former France international was hired last week to replace Joseph Koto, sacked after the team's Nations Cup failure.


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