FIFA World Cup: Chile Cruise Past Australia In Group Play


Nov 19, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Chile forward Alexis Sanchez (7) plays the ball up field during the first half in a friendly soccer match against Brazil at Rogers Centre. Brazil won 2-1.Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Jorge Sampaoli’s Chile got off to a flying start in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, pouncing on Ange Postecoglou’s Australia early before coasting to an easy 3-1 victory at the Arena Pantanal Cuiaba in Cuiaba, Mato Grosso, Brazil. The victory puts Chile in the drivers seat to advance, with the Netherlands leading Group B.

Here are six things we learned, followed by player ratings, from Wednesday night’s game between Chile and Australia.

1. Sanchez, Vaidivia starts up the scoring

Early on in the first half, forward Alexis Sanchez kicked off the scoring 12 minutes in. Charles Aranguz forced Australia goalkeeper Mat Ryan to press the issue. Eduardo Vargas’s header found Sanchez and he opened up his scoring account. Two minutes later, it was Jorge Vaidivia’s turn to get in on goal. Sanchez’s pace found Vaidivia on the flank, and the Palmeiras bookend easily chipped Ryan for to make it 2-0 La Roja.

2. Tommy Oar having it tough

With a comfortable lead, Chile looked to set the tempo for the rest of the game. In the 19th minute, Socceroos forward Tommy Oar had a left-footed shot miss just wide right. Oar again missed to the right in the 22nd minute of play. Arturo Vidal was hoping to get on the score sheet, but in the 24th minute, he just missed to the left.

3. Tim Cahill salvages pride for the Roos

In the 33rd minute, Chile’s Eugenio Mena had a right-footed shot from the center of the box blocked. In the 35th minute, as predicted in the bold predictions, Tim Cahill did score in the 35th minute off a header to put the Roos on the board. In the 37th minute, Cahill tried another right-footed shot but it was saved in the bottom left corner. The 38th minute saw La Roja’s Mauricio Isla fancy a chance on goal, only to see it blocked by Ryan. Cahill would be cautioned in the 44th minute for a foul.

4. Poor shooting costly for the Socceroos

Early on in the second half, defender Ivan Franjic came off for Ryan McGowan due to injury in the 49th minute. Cahill had a header attempt in the 51st minute miss to the right. Mark Bresciano had a couple of shots in the box saved in the 56th minute by Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, and in the 59th minute, another shot from Tim Cahill missed wide right. The Socceroos were just unable to buy a goal in this second half, and it would cost them dearly. Australia captain Mile Jedinak was given a yellow for a foul in the 58th minute. Vidal, who did not deliver for La Roja on Friday, was subbed out in the 60th minute for Felipe Gutierrez.

5. More missed chances for both teams

In the 61st minute, Chile’s Eduardo Vargas had a right-footed shot from the center of the box blocked. Bresciano tried it again in the 62nd minute but missed to the right. A header from the Socceroos’ Mathew Leckie sailed too high in the 65th minute of play. The cards continued to pile up for Australia, as Melbourne Victory midfielder Mark Milligan was cautioned in the 67th minute.

More fresh bodies came in for both teams. In the 68th minute, Chilean super sub Jean Beausejour came in for Vaidivia and in the 69th minute, Socceroos midfielder Ben Halloran came in for Oar. In the 70th minute, Marcelo Diaz had a right-footed shot blocked and on the transition, Cahill’s header from the center of the box sailed just high. A Sanchez through ball intended for Vargas was called back for offsides in the 74th minute of play.

6. Beausejour, Chile close out match in style

Midfielder James Troisi came in for Bresciano in the 78th minute of play, perhaps to bring in fresh legs with the game out of reach for Postecoglou’s men. Milligan had a shot in the 84th minute blocked, and in the 85th minute, Sanchez had a right-footed shot sail too high. Aranguz would be cautioned in the 86th minute for a foul. Vargas called it a night 88 minutes in and Mauricio Pinilla filled in at forward for Chile. In the second minute of second half stoppage time, the aformentioned Beausejour finished off a Pinilla rebound to ice all three points for La Roja.

Team Statistics

Chile in red, Australia in gold

5Shots on Target4
2Shots off Target7
3Blocked Shots2
1Yellow Cards3
0Red Cards0
626Total Passes321
86 %Passing Accuracy79 %
64.6 %Possession35.4 %
51Duels Won47
14Tackles Won9

Chile Player Ratings

Claudio Bravo 8, Eugenio Mena 7, Gary Medel 7, Gonzalo Jara 7, Mauricio Isla 7, Arturo Vidal 5, Charles Aranguz 5.5, Jorge Vaidivia 9, Marcelo Diaz 7, Alexis Sanchez 10, Eduardo Vargas 8, Felipe Gutierrez 5, Jean Beausejour 8, Mauricio Pinilla NR

Australia Player Ratings

Matthew Ryan 3, Alex Wilkinson 2, Ivan Franjic 5, Jason Davidson 2, Matther Spiranovic 2, Mark Bresciano 4, Mark Milligan 3.5, Mathew Leckie 3, Mile Jedinak 2.5, Tommy Oar 2, Tim Cahill 6.5, Ryan McGowan 3, Ben Halloran 3, James Troisi NR