MATCH SUMMARY: Chile vs. Panama 4-2
Panama came out firing and took the lead in the fifth minute when Miguel Camargo shots was poorly dealt with by Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.
Chile then began to press and 10 minutes later Alexis Sanchez fired a shot at goalkeeper Jaime Penedo and the rebound was snapped up by Eduardo Vargas making it 1-1.
Vargas then added another goal and the teams went into half time at 2-1.
In the second half Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez extended the lead for Chile with a fantastic volley that rocketed into the top corner of the goal.
Panama was given a hope when Abdiel Arroyo pulled a goal back in the 75th minute after Bravo again fumbled the ball into the Chile goal making it 3-2.
In the 88th minute Sanchez claimed his second goal after firing in a header from Jose Fuenzalida’s cross and sent Chile into the quarterfinals with a 4-2 win.
Sparring a huge upset in the Argentina Bolivia game, Chile will finish second and will meet Mexico in the quarterfinal on Sunday June 19th.
Chile takes on Panama in the last day of group games in Philadelphia at 8 p.m. local time Tuesday, with Chile only needing a draw to book a place in the quarterfinals. Panama needs a win to progress.
The Copa America defending champions have not had the easiest tournament so far in Group D. Chile lost 2-1 to Argentina in its first game, even when they were without superstar Lionel Messi.
Chile was also lucky to get away with a win with against Bolivia in its last match when a penalty was awarded in the dying minutes for a handball. Arturo Vidal stepped up and made it 2-1 to Chile.
"Panama are physically very strong. We are going to better prepare for the game and hopefully will be able to show all the quality we have … These matches are very difficult, you have to keep improving - starting now," Vidal told Radio Cooperativa.
The task will be more difficult for Panama with four suspensions from the 5-0 loss to Argentina.
"Chile is our final. The Copa America that Chile won is in the past, this is a new Copa and Panama have the chance to qualify and we're going to fight for it," said Panama defender Harold Cummings.
Chile is currently sitting second behind Argentina in Group D. The second place of Group D will face Mexico in the qauterfinal on Sunday June 19.