Chile’s new hero was Stoke-born striker Ben Brereton, who scored the game-winning goal against Bolivia in his maiden international start on Friday in the Copa America. The 22-year-old, who was born in England to an English father and a Chilean mother, was called up for the first time in May as a result of his recent performances for Blackburn Rovers. He made a late debut in Chile’s 1-1 draw with Argentina on Monday, prompting the national team to tweet a song in his honour.
They were tweeting additional chants on Friday after he scored on a counter-attack 10 minutes into the game to give Chile a 1-0 victory and put them in first place in Group A, ahead of Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay. After playing for England at under-19 and under-20 levels, Brereton switched international allegiances to Chile after running himself into the ground and was removed after 83 minutes on a hot night in central Brazil.
He was a member of the European Under-19 championship-winning squad in 2017, scoring two goals in the tournament alongside Mason Mount and Ryan Sessegnon. Because of the injury to talismanic striker Alexis Sanchez, the massively built striker has been given his chance for Chile, and he is enjoying the experience. After being called up last month, he acknowledged his Chilean teammates and fans.
The frantic attacker said he was coached to “hold up the ball and annoy his opponents.”