rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Netherlands and Chile in scrap to avoid Brazil in last 16

Netherlands and Chile in scrap to avoid Brazil in last 16

June 22, 2014 07:41 IST

Netherlands and Chile in scrap to avoid Brazil in last 16

     Next

Next

With the loser likely to face hosts Brazil in the next round, the Netherlands and Chile will go all out for victory when they meet in their Group B match on Monday, even though both teams are through to the last 16.

While coaches studiously avoid discussing anything but the next game, what lies ahead adds a tantalising twist to a contest between European thoroughbreds and a Chile team that has surpassed expectations by ousting champions Spain.

That 2-0 win at the Maracana stadium in Rio sent shockwaves through the tournament and will ensure that the Netherlands take their opponents seriously when they meet in Sao Paulo.

- Complete coverage of the football World Cup

Please click NEXT for more...


Image: Chile's players celebrate after their victory over Spain
Photographs: David Ramos/Getty Images

     Next

Netherlands and Chile in scrap to avoid Brazil in last 16

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Robin van Persie, who like fellow striker Arjen Robben is joint top scorer in Brazil with three goals, was impressed with what he saw of the South American opponents.

"They looked very good. They looked fit, they look strong, they play together," Van Persie said.

"I think that four or five players made Spain's life very hard. So we've got a big task. It will be very hard to at least draw against them," added the forward, who will miss the clash after picking up two yellow cards in the first two matches.

His absence is a blow to the Dutch, whose 5-1 destruction of Spain in the opening game was followed by a far less convincing 3-2 win over Australia, who are out.

But in Jeremiah Lens, favourite to replace him up front, the Netherlands have a forward who shone in the buildup to Brazil, scoring five goals in nine qualifying matches.

- Complete coverage of the football World Cup

Please click NEXT for more...


Image: Robin van Persie
Photographs: Vinicius Costa/Getty Images

Prev     Next

Netherlands and Chile in scrap to avoid Brazil in last 16

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Bruno Martins Indio, who was hospitalised after suffering concussion against Australia, returned to training on Friday.

The Dutch have the slight edge, in that a draw will see them top the group owing to a superior goal difference.

That could encourage coach Louis van Gaal, who will join Van Persie at Manchester United next season, to opt for the more defensive 5-3-2 formation which he adopted at times in both the Spanish and Australian games.

But the neutrals will be hoping to see the more attacking 4-3-3 set-up that has produced breathtaking soccer at times reminiscent of the national side in its 1970s pomp.

For Chile, the main concern going into the match is the fitness of mid fielders Charles Aranguiz and Arturo Vidal.

Aranguiz, who scored against Spain on Wednesday, was substituted in the 64th minute, and Vidal, who had knee surgery last month, came off near the end.

Both players are also on a yellow card, meaning that another booking would see them miss the last 16 clash.

Vidal was singled out for his masterful display against Spain, pulling the strings behind forwards Alexis Sanchez and Eduardo Vagrants, although the team as a whole pressed hard and launched a series of rapid-fire counter-attacks.

- Complete coverage of the football World Cup

Please click NEXT for more...


Image: Arturo Vidal of Chile
Photographs: David Ramos/Getty Images

Prev     Next

Netherlands and Chile in scrap to avoid Brazil in last 16

Prev     More
Prev

More

Chile's soccer chief Sergio Jade said he is hopeful both players would be available to face the Netherlands.

"Today we have a complete squad. Aranguiz has a small knock on the knee but he will be fit to play so that is good for us," he said on Thursday.

"I am not thinking about Arturo's knee. The medical team has made sure that every step of his recuperation was done correctly."

Chile's best result at a World Cup came on home soil in 1962, when they finished third after losing to Brazil.

In France (1998) and South Africa (2010) they reached the last 16, only to exit at the hands of Brazil on both occasions.

Coming top of Group B, and avoiding this year's hosts, would appear to be a priority.

- Complete coverage of the football World Cup

Please click NEXT for more...


Image: Alexis Sanchez of Chile
Photographs: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Prev     More