rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » WC Preview: Changed Australia see in foe Chile the team they want to be

WC Preview: Changed Australia see in foe Chile the team they want to be

June 13, 2014 10:00 IST

WC Preview: Changed Australia see in foe Chile the team they want to be

     Next

Next

Australia kick off their World Cup on Friday against Chile, tournament dark horses that new coach Ange Postecoglou actually wants to emulate in his reinvention of the Socceroo squad.

While, Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli believes Australia have changed their game under Postecoglou by trying to play more football and rely less on their traditional physical strength.

- Please click NEXT to read more


Image: Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou watches players stretch
Photographs: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

     Next

WC Preview: Changed Australia see in foe Chile the team they want to be

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Postecoglou said the Australians can handle the minimal expectations the football world has for his team, the lowest ranked at the World Cup in Brazil. But the Socceroos can also get a glimpse on Friday of what the future may hold.

"I don't want to keep coming to World Cups and have people saying 'you've got no chance'," Postecoglou said at a news conference on Thursday at the match venue Pantanal arena in the western city of Cuiaba.

"I'd rather they talk about us like they are talking about Chile now. I think they are a good example of a country that has worked for the last four or five years to become a force, and that's our goal."

Postecoglou, 48, took over in October with a five-year contract and got stuck in the December draw with the impossibly difficult Group B, along with defending champions Spain, 2010 runners up Netherlands and the South American team that some rate a surprise contender for the 2014 Cup.

"I feel like they can have a real impact in this tournament," Postecoglou said of Chile. "They are an exceptionally strong unit."

Australia captain Mile Jedinak chimed in, saying: "I think the boss summed it up. It's going to be a very tough opposition. They are in great form."

- Please click NEXT to read more


Image: Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou talks to Socceroos captain Mile Jedinak
Photographs: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Prev     Next

WC Preview: Changed Australia see in foe Chile the team they want to be

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Hundreds of Chile fans have come to Cuiaba, in the centre of South America in Mato Grosso state, many driving the thousands of km from their country across deserts and mountains in Bolivia and Argentina to get here.

“Australia are a complicated team, they come here without pressure," added Sampaoli. "I’m sure they won’t feel any in this opening match,” he added of the lowest ranked side among the 32 finalists at the tournament in Brazil that began on Thursday.

“It could get difficult for us if we don’t have a good afternoon.”

Sampaoli did not say whether key midfielder Arturo Vidal, who had knee surgery 36 days ago, would play any part in the match despite a remarkably quick recovery and the fact the he played 15 minutes in a warmup friendly last week.

“The clinical and treatment stages are past and he is ready for normal training (but) in the footballing stage he may not yet have the rhythm of the rest (of the players),” Sampaoli said.

- Please click NEXT to read more


Image: Chile's coach Jorge Sampaoli bounces a ball mid-air
Photographs: Edgard Garrido/Reuters

Prev     Next

WC Preview: Changed Australia see in foe Chile the team they want to be

Prev     More
Prev

More

Postecoglou has a reputation for rebuilding teams and getting them to play in an adventurous, attacking style. He likes to play a 4-3-3 formation.

In his transition away from Australia's "Golden Generation," the core of players that swept the nation into the two previous World Cups, Greece-born Postecoglou has brought up younger players from his days coaching domestic teams.

Yet, he was asked about the team's continuing reliance on veteran striker Tim Cahill, who many consider the only player in the Socceroos camp that might be termed 'world class'.

"I’m not worried," said Postecoglou. "At least we've got someone there is who is very threatening. I don't think that's our only avenue. We certainly believe we can be a threat in other areas."


Image: Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou talks to Tommy Oar
Photographs: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Prev     More