Winning start for Sanchez as Bolivia hit five

November 16, 2006

LA PAZ, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Bolivia gave new coach Erwin Sanchez a winning debut as they thrashed El Salvador 5-1 in a friendly on Wednesday.

Fielding an experimental line-up and with the advantage of playing at 3,600 metres above sea level, Bolivia raced to a 3-0 lead when Nelson Sossa, Juan Carlos Arce and veteran defender Oscar Sanchez scored in an 11-minute spell before the break.

Alex Erazo pulled one back for the Central Americans early in the second half before Leonel Reyes and Darwin Pena added further goals for the hosts in the last 10 minutes.

Sanchez, scorer of Bolivia's only goal in a World Cup tournament when he hit the target against Spain in 1994, was named as coach last month despite an undignified end to his playing career.

The former midfielder retired last year with Oriente Petrelero after being banned for 18 months for attacking a referee.

Bolivia were playing their first match for more than a year, their last outing having ended in a 4-1 defeat to Peru in October 2005.

El Salvador, beaten by Honduras and Panama in their previous outings, sank to their third straight defeat under Mexican coach Carlos de los Cobos.