Chile put together a valiant effort on Saturday, losing to hosts Brazil in a penalty shootout in the 2014 World Cup round of 16. The teams were tied 1-1 after 120 minutes but the Selecao eventually emerged victorious on penalties, winning the shootout 3-2.
La Roja's performance against the tournament favourites was phenomenal, however, and they came within inches of eliminating Brazil late in extra time, hitting the crossbar.
The standout performer was once again Alexis Sanchez, who leveled the score after David Luiz had put the Brazilians in front off a set piece. Bleacher Report UK has the Vine:
Via Football Express, the forward celebrated in spectacular fashion:
Sanchez was truly dominant playing up front for Chile, keeping the Brazilian defence occupied for the full 120 minutes. ESPN FC's Max Bretos thought he and Arturo Vidal played fantastic football on Saturday:
Goal's Cristian Nyari agreed:
Alexis Sanchez's World Cup performance really underrated so far. One of the best players so far in my opinion. Numbers very impressive #CHI— Cristian Nyari (@Cnyari) June 28, 2014
Squawka Football shared statistical proof of Sanchez's dominance:
Phil Neville also didn't hide his admiration:
Alexis Sanchez as been incredible for chile- he's dominated the whole back 4 of Brazil— Philip Neville (@fizzer18) June 28, 2014
Jan Aage Fjortoft thinks Sanchez could be in line for a big-money move away from Barcelona during the summer transfer window:
If there is not a TopClub out there which can't use Alexis Sanchez.....well— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) June 28, 2014
Sanchez's World Cup was phenomenal but ended on a bitter note: He was one of three Chileans to miss during the shootout, per Futbol Bible:
ALEXIS SANCHEZ MISSES!!!!!— FutbolBible (@FutbolBible) June 28, 2014
By that time, Vidal had already been substituted out of the match. The Juventus midfielder is still recovering from a knee injury and played through the entire World Cup on a bad leg.
LIV Sports was impressed, though they appeared to be more impressed by his hair:
Arturo Vidal is making a difference for Chile in the midfield tonight. What do you think about his haircut? pic.twitter.com/rb36BUBs43— LIV Sports (@LIVSportsIndia) June 28, 2014
Via The Globe's Cathal Kelly, it seemed more people were:
Dan Brown's next book should somehow involve a secret message hidden in Arturo Vidal's hair.— cathalkelly (@cathalkelly) June 28, 2014
Add Graham Ruthven to the list:
Is Arturo Vidal's entire look based on trying to appear as intimidating as possible?— Graham Ruthven (@grahamruthven) June 28, 2014
Thankfully, Squawka actually felt like talking about his on-pitch performances rather than his appearance:
Vidal was vital in keeping Brazil's talented midfield in check, making several timely tackles. One can only imagine what he would have been able to do on this day had he been completely healthy, as he also happens to be Juventus' normal penalty-taker.
He was still great, however, per The Times' James Ducker:
Sounds like Vidal has just added another £10m to his asking price ...— James Ducker (@DuckerTheTimes) June 28, 2014
ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan shared the distance he had traveled by the time he came off the pitch—he ran more than any of his teammates while playing on a busted knee:
Almost 10km on one knee from Vidal...— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) June 28, 2014
It wasn't enough to inspire the Chileans to a win, however, making this the fourth time they've been eliminated by the Brazilians in a World Cup.
La Roja can still look back on a spectacular campaign in which they eliminated defending champions Spain and took hosts and favourites Brazil to the very end of their abilities.
This golden generation of Chilean talent is only just blossoming, and the future looks very bright for La Roja.
Brazil will lick their wounds following a long, emotional match and have a quarter-final date against the winners of Colombia v Uruguay to look forward to.