Ben Brereton Diaz of Blackburn Rovers made his Chilean debut last night in a 1-1 draw with Argentina in the group's opening game of the Copa America.
The scoring was opened with a wonderful free kick from Argentina talisman Lionel Messi in the 33rd minute. The Barcelona winger whipped a set piece into the top right hand corner, just out of the grasp of Claudio Bravo. Eduardo Vargas equalised for the Chilean national team with around 10 minutes of the second half played, heading home a rebound from a penalty missed by Arturo Vidal, and saved by Emi Martinez of Aston Villa.
Both sides utilized five substitutes, however, Eduardo Vargas left the field on a stretcher. The goalscorer was replaced by Englishman Ben Brereton. The Rovers star, making his debut for La Roja, made an impressive impact when he entered the field, playing a big part in the Chilean counter attacks that followed his arrival.
The Stoke-born striker started his youth career at Stoke City before moving to the Nottingham Forest youth academy in 2015, where he later went on to make his senior debut, scoring against Arsenal in the FA Cup very early on in his career. In the summer of 2018 he joined Blackburn Rovers on loan for a season, however, the loan deal was made permanent in January when he left Forest for Ewood Park.
Although his early Rovers career wasn't loaded with goals, in the 2020-21 season he played a new role in the Rovers set up, often lining up on the left wing. This new role was good for Brereton and he played brilliantly throughout the season. It was these impressive performances that earned him a call up to the Chilean national team.
After not earning a single minute on the pitch in the World Cup qualifiers, his place in the Copa America squad was under some question. However, he managed to make his way into the squad and onto the pitch against Argentina. Hopefully, it's the first appearance of many for the young Englishman in the red of Chile.