Chile are lucky to have a player like Alexis Sanchez - Juan Antonio Pizzi
Chile coach Juan Antonio Pizzi has heaped praise on Alexis Sanchez after he overcame a left ankle problem to help the nation beat Cameroon in their Confederations Cup opener.
Sanchez, 28, was doubtful for Sunday's encounter against the African champions in Moscow after hurting his ankle in training last week.
However, the Arsenal man came off the bench in the 58th minute and contributed to both goals as Chile won 2-0 in the Group B game.
"We had to deal with Alexis' knock but we knew that he could make the difference later in the game," Pizzi told La Tercera.
Arturo Vidal headed in Sanchez's cross to put the Copa America winners ahead in the 81st minute. Sanchez then saw his shot blocked by a defender but Eduardo Vargas pounced on the rebound and struck the ball into the back of the net in stoppage time.
"Alexis has impressive quality," Pizzi said. "He was very happy at the end because he had contributed to both goals. We just have to be happy that he plays for our national team."
Sanchez's performance came at a cost with the player posting two images on social media showing his swollen left ankle after the game. He is considered doubtful for Thursday's encounter against World champions Germany at the Kazan Arena.
Sanchez is one goal shy of becoming Chile's all-time top scorer and is currently level on 37 with Marcelo Salas.
Sanchez, who has been the subject of plenty of transfer speculation, has remained tight-lipped about his future and says he is only focused on helping Chile lift the Confederations Cup.
Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.