It’s fair to say Chile is known for its hard-nosed, physical, “dare you to call everything” style of play. Its relentless work ethic and fiery on-field persona is met by great bouts of skill, but expect to be hit when playing La Roja.
A group of hard-nosed players that plays on the edge, perhaps headlined by Cardiff City’s Gary Medel, will give Australia all it candle in Friday’s opener.
Socceroos captain Tim Cahill is ready for the challenge. From The Sydney Morning Herald:
“I know for a fact that they’ll have someone, or a few holding and shirt pulling and things like that to put me off my game. But that’s no different to what I’ve had in the past,” he said.
“It’s a competition where a little nudge can change the way you head a ball or the way you attack a ball or even defend a ball.
“So it will be no different to the way we’re going to be and for us we’re up for every single battle. We’re going to stand up and be counted.
“Hopefully the referees clamp down on it.”
Australia’s strength is through the midfielder, where it will need Cahill and Crystal Palace strongman Mile Jedinak to hunker down and play with tremendous patience and poise.
If the Socceroos are to come out of the group somehow, they need to scrap points from Chile, Netherlands and/or Spain. That starts today.