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Chile’s Eduardo Vargas celebrates scoring his side’s 4th goal during a Copa America Group C soccer match against Japan at the Morumbi stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Monday, June 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Nelson Antoine)
Chile’s Eduardo Vargas celebrates scoring his side’s 4th goal during a Copa America Group C soccer match against Japan at the Morumbi stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Monday, June 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Nelson Antoine)|Associated Press
Soccer

Eduardo Vargas scores twice as Chile tops Japan 4-0, in first defense of Copa America title

Associated Press

By TALES AZZONI AP Sports Writer

SAO PAULO (AP) — Two-time defending champion Chile opened its Copa America campaign with a 4-0 win over guest Japan on Monday, with Eduardo Vargas scoring a pair of goals to become Chile's all-time leading scorer in the South American competition.

Erick Pulgar and Alexis Sanchez also scored for the titleholders, which are trying to become the first nation to win three straight Copa titles since Argentina in the late 1940s.

Vargas scored in each half to reach 12 goals with Chile in the tournament, two more than Enrique Hormazabal.

The victory at the Morumbi Stadium moved Chile to the top of Group C along with Uruguay, which opened with a 4-0 win over Ecuador on Sunday.

Japan, playing as a Copa America guest for the second time, brought to Brazil a young squad focused on the Olympic tournament at home next year.