Confed Cup: Sanchez makes history as Chile draws with Germany

Alexis Sanchez struck early to become Chile’s all-time leading scorer on Thursday as the South American champion was held by Germany’s young squad to a 1-1 draw that left both teams in good position to advance to the semifinals of the Confederations Cup.

Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Confederations Cup, Group B soccer match between Germany and Chile, at the Kazan Arena, Russia on Thursday.   -  AP

Alexis Sanchez struck early to become Chile’s all-time leading scorer on Thursday as the South American champion was held by Germany’s young squad to a 1-1 draw that left both teams in good position to advance to the semifinals of the Confederations Cup.

Sanchez netted his 38th goal with the Chilean national team by poking the ball into the net with the tip of his left foot after a smart pass by Arturo Vidal in the sixth minute. The ball hit the near post before crossing the line to allow the Arsenal forward to pass the 37 goals scored by Marcelo Salas.

Sanchez was making his debut in Chile’s starting lineup at the Confederations Cup after recovering from an ankle sprain that restricted him to only a few minutes off the bench in the opening win against Cameroon.

Germany, with only three players from its World Cup-winning team, played catch-up most of time against the more experienced Chileans, but it was able to earn the draw after Lars Stindl scored from close range in a counterattack just before halftime.

The result left both teams with four points each in Group B, three more than Australia and Cameroon, which played a 1-1 draw earlier on Thursday in St. Petersburg.