Chile beat Australia to leap ahead of Spain and the Socceroos in Group B, but they’re still behind Holland.
Early goals from Alexis Sanchez and Jorge Valdivia gave Chile a 2 goal lead after just 14 minutes, before Tim Cahill brought Australia back into the match 20 minutes later with a powerful header.
Sanchez was at his tyrannical best as he tormented the Australian defence in the early stages of the contest. The Barcelona forward scored with a close range shot after a defensive mix-up, before he then set-up Valdivia who drove home from just outside the box.
Ivan Franjic then crossed for Cahill to head home ten minutes before half-time. Australia were unable to find an equalizer in the second-half though, and then Jean Beausejour, who plays for Wigan Athletic, added a third goal in added time to confirm Chile’s victory.
Chile went into the game knowing that they had a great chance of progressing from Group B after Holland had defeated Spain 5-1. They quickly two-nil up and looked to improve their goal-scoring record, which would have brought even more distance between them and Spain. However, Chile’s leaky defense showed that they will still have to be at their best to beat the reigning World Cup and European champions in their next match.
After the match, Chile’s manager Jorge Sampaoli told the BBC:
“We had a good understanding in attack, especially with Alexis Sanchez as the focal point, and we created several chances. After Australia scored we lost a little bit of momentum and we got frustrated. We didn’t play as well as we can — and with the calibre of our next two opponents, we will have to give a more complete performance. The prospect of playing Spain at the Maracana is electrifying.”
Meanwhile, Tim Cahill, Australia’s goal-scorer, added:
“They got in twice and punished us but after that you could see their legs were going and we knew we could get something from this game. We really stood up strong. Not a lot went our way and it showed. It’s all about defining moments. This is the stage to do it and when you’re called upon you have to show up. We showed a bit of fear but we got in their faces. We showed some aggression, we’ll learn from this and go into the next game positive.”
Australia will now take on the Netherlands in their next World Cup contest, knowing full well that anything other than a victory will mean they are eliminated from the competition.