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This game was always going to be crucial in determining who would qualify from Group H, but after Switzerland’s shock win over Spain last week, it has taken on even more importance. The winner of this game will have one foot in the last 16 and could go on to top the group and avoid a potential knockout showdown with Brazil.
Chile played well against Honduras but failed to give their goal difference the boost the performance merited. Switzerland play the Central American minnows in their final game and will expect …

Chile got their World Cup campaign off to a winning start with a dominant performance against Honduras in Nelspruit today. Despite the win, Marcelo Bielsa said his side will need to show more if they are to progress from Group H.
Jean Beausejour’s first half tap in was enough to give La Roja a 1-0 win but they should have scored more having dominated possession and territory throughout. Chile spurned several good chances to boost their goal difference in a group that could go down to the wire.
“I think we won …

Few opening World Cup group games should be described as ‘must win’ but Chile’s opener against Honduras tomorrow comes mighty close. With Chile harbouring realistic hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages, they really should claim three points against the group outsiders before facing progressively tougher games with Switzerland and then Spain.
Spain are the overwhelming favourites for the group and rightfully so. On paper, that leaves the other three teams playing for one qualifying spot. A win for Chile tomorrow and a defeat for Switzerland against Spain would really boost …

Chile finalised their World Cup preparations with a 2-0 victory over New Zealand in Ka Nyamazane today. Gonzalo Fierro and Esteban Paredes scored the goals in the small town near the Chilean base in Nelspruit.
The game was played over three periods of half an hour and Marcelo Bielsa gave the majority of his squad a chance to impress. Humberto Suazo, recently back in training after injury did not feature and Jorge Valdivia and Mark Gonzalez were rested. Waldo Ponce and Rodrigo Millar also sat out the game.
Fierro opened the scoring …

The Chilean squad arrived at their training base in Nelspruit on Monday to be greeted by good news regarding the condition of striker Humberto Suazo.
The squad were met by several hundred fans and local dancers who performed some traditional African routines for the team. Later news emerged that Suazo’s hamstring tear could be less serious than first thought.
Suazo suffered the injury during the team’s warm up win over Israel but has resumed light training despite initially being ruled out for two to three weeks.
He is a key player for La …

When Chile begin their World Cup campaign against Honduras on June 16th it will have been just 109 days since the country was devastated by a huge earthquake.
The earthquake measured an awesome 8.8 on the Richter Scale, killed over 500 people and damaged or destroyed the homes of around 1.5 million others.
Events such as this put the World Cup firmly in its place in terms of importance but some commentators have ventured to say that football may have a role in the healing process currently underway in Chile.
Hopes are high …

Striker Humberto Suazo will miss Chile’s opening World Cup Group H game against Honduras with a hamstring injury.
Suazo suffered a tear to his left hamstring during the team’s 3-0 win over Israel on Sunday. Initial reports suggested he may miss the entire tournament but local sources have since said that medical tests indicate an absence of two to three weeks.
Chile play Honduras on June 16th and Switzerland on June 21st meaning the powerful Suazo could miss both games. They complete the group phase with a tough test against Spain on …

Defender Roberto Cereceda was dropped from the Chile World Cup squad on Tuesday as Marcelo Bielsa finalised his tournament squad of twenty-three.
Bielsa cut six players from his initial thirty man party two weeks ago but Cereceda remained with the group as cover for the injured Marco Estrada. Estrada is now fit and travels to South Africa while the Colo Colo defender stays at home.
Bielsa had previously dispensed with the services of Atalanta midfielder Jaime Valdes, Toluca striker Hector Mancilla and Dinamo Zagreb’s Pedro Morales. He also dropped Manuel Iturra of …

Chile finalised their World Cup preparations with back to back wins on Sunday. A weakened side edged past Northern Ireland before a stronger selection thrashed Israel 3-0 in the second game of a victorious double header.
Esteban Parades’ first half goal was enough to decide a rather insipid affair against the Irish in Chillan before the squad made the journey to Concepcion to take on Israel. Parades rose at the back post to guide a Matias Fernandez corner past Irish goalkeeper Alan Blayney after half an hour.
Blayney went on to deny …

In the vast shadow of Maradona’s Argentine circus another less sensational yet no less fascinating story reached its climax as South American World Cup qualifying drew to a close. Chile, a nation of 16.8 million people with little pedigree in international football finished the tournament in second place, just a solitary point behind the mighty Brazil.
This Brazil, coached by Dunga, is functional and ruthless but seldom thrills in the way we expect from players clad in those famous yellow shirts. He is the arch pragmatist whose team are admired but …