Gary Medel scored two goals to lead Chile past Bolivia 2-0 on Sunday in their 2010 World Cup qualifier.
Overcoming the thin air of the 11,800-foot (3,600-meter) altitude in the Bolivian capital, the Chileans put themselves within striking distance of South America’s leaders.
Medel opened the scoring in the 28th minute, knocking in a rebound off the post with a half-bicycle kick. He sealed the win in the 76th when he sent home a center pass that deflected in off the defense.
Chile has seven points after five matches, putting it in a tie for sixth place with Venezuela – and just one point behind fifth-place Brazil, which lost Sunday to group leader Paraguay. Bolivia is last in qualifying with just a single point from a draw last October at home against Colombia.
The first four finishers secure World Cup berths, while the fifth-placed team advances to a two-game play off against a squad from another region.
Bolivia attacked more and seemed to control the match at times, but failed to generate much danger when it pressed forward. Marcelo Martins Moreno had the best chance with a header that passed just over the crossbar.
Bolivia hosts Paraguay next week, while Chile travels to Venezuela.
Bolivia: Sergio Galarza, Leonel Reyes, Jhasmany Campos (Juaquin Botero, 65), Juan Carlos Arce, Lorgio Alvarez (Gaty Ribeiro, 46), Luis Gutierrez, Abdon Reyes, Limberg Gutierrez, Marcelo Martins Moreno, Ronald Raldes and Miguel Hoyos (Mauricio Saucedo, 78).
Chile: Claudio Bravo, Gary Medel, Ismael Fuentes, Gonzalo Jara, Jose Pedro Fuenzalida (Marco Estrada, 46), Roberto Cereceda, Alexis Sanchez, Carlos Carmona, Humberto Suazo, Pedro Morales (Carlos Villanueva, 55), Jean Beausejour (Mark Gonzales, 58).