The four-team friendly tournament, held on the artificial turf of the Max Augustin Stadium in Iquitos, saw the Chileans edge out hosts Peru, Ecuador and Costa Rica. Jose Sulantay's young charges will have high hopes of repeating the trick in January when they travel to Paraguay for the qualifying competition for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007.

With national team coach Nelson Acosta looking on approvingly from the stands, a proud Sulantay explained the reasons for his side's success: "We got better as the tournament went on. By the end we were performing really well, particularly when you remember the team is on a learning curve and there are still some key players to come in."

Chilean blend coming to the boil
Chile took the honours thanks to a record of two draws and a win, scoring five goals and conceding just one in the process. "We were the best side in the tournament and the fans here recognise that," explained Sulantay as the applause rained down in Iquitos.

That said, La Roja were far from impressive in their opening game when they were held to a lacklustre goalless draw by Ecuador. "We didn't play badly, but we just couldn't score," lamented Sulantay afterwards. His players atoned for their wayward finishing in their second game, however, by trouncing Costa Rica 4-0 thanks to goals from Dagoberto Currimilla, Hans Martinez, Nicolas Medina and Juan Pablo Arenas.

That result would prove to be a decisive one for the Chileans, who clinched the tournament with a 1-1 draw against the hosts in their final game, the goals coming from Santiago Wanderers and Gianfranco Espejo from the penalty spot.

The week's work should stand the Chileans in good stead for Paraguay and their bid to qualify for a second successive FIFA U-20 World Cup. Still smarting from their first-round exit at Netherlands 2005, the ambitious South Americans are desperate for a chance to make amends in Canada next year.

Food for thought
Despite trailing in the wake of the victorious Chileans, Ecuador, Peru and Costa Rica can take some positives away from Iquitos.

With Argentine Jose Luis Pavoni at the helm, the Peruvians showed they may well be a force in Paraguay in January, particularly if Fernando Garcia - the scorer of two goals against Ecuador - continues to perform.

Ivan Romero's Ecuador team showed their defensive qualities in their opening game by holding Chile to a goalless draw, but looked lightweight up front. They put that right by signing off with a three-goal display against Costa Rica, a heartening result that gave coach Romero some reason for optimism: "We finished off with a good performance, but we've got to work hard if we want to prosper in Paraguay."

Bottom side Costa Rica, coached by Giovanni Alfaro, notched a solitary victory while shipping no fewer than seven goals. Although Alfaro has plenty of problems on his mind, his side at least garnered some valuable experience for next month's vital games with Nicaragua and Honduras.

Copa Amazonica 2006 - Results

Wednesday 19 July
Costa Rica 1 - 0 Peru
Ecuador 0 - 0 Chile

Friday 21 July
Peru 2 - 0 Ecuador
Chile 4 - 0 Costa Rica

Sunday 23 July
Chile 1 - 1 Peru
Ecuador 3 - 0 Costa Rica