October 1, 2017 / 7:34 PM / 9 months ago

Soccer-Chile recall striker Pinilla for World Cup qualifiers

SANTIAGO, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Chile coach Juan Antonio Pizzi has recalled on-form striker Mauricio Pinilla for the next two World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Brazil, the Chilean Football Association said on Sunday.

The Universidad de Chile forward has 45 caps for the national side but has not started an international match in more than a year.

However, five goals in his last four games earned him a surprise recall as Pizzi shakes up his squad in an attempt to reach the tournament next year.

The Copa America champions have struggled this year and currently lie sixth in the South American qualifying group, with only the top four teams guaranteed a place in Russia next June. The fifth-place side will take on New Zealand in a play-off. Four points separate Uruguay in second to Chile in sixth.

Chile face Ecuador at home on Oct. 5 and then travel to Brazil for their final game five days later. (Writing by Andrew Downie; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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