Chile faces toughest test against Brazil

Jun 24, 2014 - 8:03 PM Midfielder Arturo Vidal believes this generation of Chile players is the best in the country's history; now comes the moment to prove it.

Chile have faced and been beaten by Brazil in three previous World Cups but in Belo Horizonte on Sunday (AEST) Vidal and company will have the chance to make history.

Only four times in their 98 year-history have Chile beaten Brazil in official games - 1956, 1987, 1993 and 2000.

They were beaten 4-2 by Brazil in the 1962 finals that they hosted.

They then lost 4-1 against them at France 1998 in the first knockout round. And they fell 3-0 to them in 2010 also in the first knockout stage.

Since 2000 when goals from Ivan Zamorano, Marcelo Salas and Nelson Acosta gave Chile a 3-0 win in World Cup qualifying, Chile have not beaten them. Even Marcelo Bielsa could not turn the tide - he oversaw three defeats and the team conceded 11 goals.

The country's El Mercurio newspaper ran the headline: "Holland condemns Chile to its worst nightmare" after the failure to top Group B sealed their fate.

In its match report of the 2-0 defeat it said: "Against Brazil it will either be monumentally heroic, or it will just be the same old funeral".

After a friendly defeat against Brazil last November Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli said: "They have the perfect balance. It is really difficult to find any defects they showed they are the best in the world last year in the Confederations Cup." But some of the Chile stars who have got the better of Brazil in the past are not so sure.

Orlando Aravena, who coached the team that won in 1987 told El Mercurio: "In the Brazil teams in the past there were always four or five superstars who could destroy you. Now it's only Neymar." Fernando Astenga, a defender in that 1987 team, echoed the sentiments of Aravena.

"They only really have Neymar and the strength of Hulk," he said.

"The central defenders Thiago Silva and David Luis are not always well co-ordinated and Dani Alves thinks he is playing for Barcelona and will leave space in behind."

Brazil are under huge pressure to deliver on home soil and players were cautious about the prospect of facing Chile.

Alves said: "It will be very different to the 3-0 in 2010 because Chile are at a different level. They play with so much aggression and they attack so well but never without keeping the defensive balance of the team."

Midfielder Oscar added: "Chile are a very tough opponent and more so because they will be desperate to change history of the games between the two teams but I hope the weight of that history is too much for them and we see the same old story."

Source: AAP

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