Ben Brereton was singled out for praise by the new Chile boss, but couldn’t stop them falling to a 2-0 defeat to South Korea.

Brereton had a goal disallowed in the second half, where he was also denied by a good save at the end of an excellent run, as he was again Chile’s most dangerous attacker.

The 23-year-old also went close in the first half as he looked for a fifth goal in La Roja colours in what was his 13th cap.

A first half cracker from Wolves’ Hwang Hee-chan was added to in the second half by an equally fine free-kick from Son Heung-min, the Tottenham Hotspur attacker having finished the Premier League season as joint-top scorer.

Yet equally impressive was Brereton, despite not having a goal to show for his efforts, and was Chile’s main hope for a goal in the friendly, where Chile's task was made harder by a red card early in the second half for debutant Alex Ibacache.

The game was the first in charge for new coach Eduardo Berizzo who replaced Martin Lasarte last month after Chile failed to qualify for the World Cup.

The team was a look to the future, with Chile not including several of their star names, as goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, midfielder Arturo Vidal and attacker Alexis Sanchez were among those not involved.

And Berizzo was full of praise for Brereton’s display, despite the disappointment of defeat.

He said: “Brereton is very intelligent in his movement and found himself behind rival defenders several times. 

“He was not given the goal, but he is a footballer with many qualities, he did a great performance despite the fact that his league in England stopped a long time ago. 

“He is a player of interesting movements. He will be an important reference for us.”

Chile have two more matches this month, where Brereton will be aiming to build on his strong showing, and add to the 22 goals he netted in Rovers colours in 2021/22.

They turn their attentions to the Kirin Cup which starts on Friday as they face Tunisia in the semi-final. Hosts Japan and Ghana are the other two teams in the tournament, with the two winners to meet in the final on June 14.

That will be after the Rovers players return for pre-season testing, with Brereton to be afforded extra time off.

He did likewise last summer, not featuring until Rovers’ final two friendlies of the close season after his exertions on the international stage which saw him feature in World Cup qualifiers and then the Copa America.

There continues to be ongoing speculation over Brereton’s future, with the attacker into the final year of his deal at Ewood Park after the club exercised the 12-month option within his contract.

As well as a host of Premier League clubs, Spanish trio Sevilla, Valencia and Real Betis are all said to be showing interest in Rovers’ £6m signing.


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