World Cup 2014: Chile v Australia

CHI 3 – 1 AUS: In similar fashion to Brazil yesterday, Chile overcame a spirited Australia in an unconvincing manner in Cuiabá. The much-fancied Chileans came out of the blocks on fire, feeding off a nervous Australia who looked to struggle to cope with the pace of the game early on. Two goals in two minutes from Barcelona starlet Sanchez and “El Mago” Valvidia had the Socceroos on the ropes early. Chile’s attacking flair and intensity soon abated however as a competitive Australia pressed and worked hard to reduce the space for the Chileans to exploit. Full backs Franjic and Davidson pushed forward well and Australia pulled one back before half time after a brilliant Franjic tackle and cross was met by a towering Tim Cahill who powered a header past Bravo. Cahill was magnificent all night, his forward play some of the best I have seen for a while and he was always a threat in the final third. Australia were much the better team after half time, combative captain Mile Jedinak leading by example. Two brilliant saves from Bravo kept Chile’s noses in front but Australia kept plucking away, the fantastic Matthew Leckie and Mark Bresciano causing numerous problems to an open and vulnerable Chilean back three on each attack. Chile were poor in the second period, the influence of Vidal and Valvidia was nonexistent and both were replaced. Australia lacked that bit of quality and experience to force themselves level and when Bresciano and Cahill run out of legs their chance had gone. A late Beausejour strike put a flattering scoreline on proceedings for Chile and it was extremely harsh on the Socceroos. Chile will struggle against wounded giant Spain but if they can sneak a draw it should be enough to take them through. Australia will take a lot from this game and hopefully they can give similar performances in their next two games.

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