The USMNT played a friendly against La Roja yesterday evening, and snatched back a draw toward the end when Kansas City striker Teal Bunbury (born a Canuck, btw) converted a 75th minute penalty. We couldn’t tell you how the game was, or how the teams looked, but we can share the goal call from Telefutura. Also included here, the inevitable remix.
This could very well be the big upset of the tournament, though Brazil have bested the Chilean side 46 times (and lost only 7). Chile have looked strong, however, and Brazil haven’t really put on the flair to which we’re accustomed. Check out these comments about Chile’s quality by the father of total football himself, Johan Cruyff.
Brazil will be happy to have Kaka back from suspension, meaning Baptista will be taking a seat. Chile have Carmona and Fernandez ready, but don’t have the excellent Marco Estrada at their disposal. They’re also without Medel and Ponce — all three to suspension.
We’ll be sporadic on this one, familial responsibilities, etc. Starting lineups and some commentary after the bump! Your comments welcome!
Chile play a very unusual system, in which they attack without cease for every minute of the match, and play what looks like six wingers. Sometimes, personalities or luck or athleticism decide which team wins a match, but because the Chileans are so novel, they almost always win or lose based on tactics.
One risky aspect of Chile’s game is the high defensive line they play. Chile shrink the field so they can make the short, angled passes that spring their wingers into space,, but to do this, their defenders need to stand very close to their attackers, so they can start their passing game with accuracy. Long passes are notoriously hard to complete and give defenders time to organize their shape. The virtue of Chile’s system is the claustrophobic terror it creates for defenders, and Spain were petrified today, at least for twenty-four minutes.
The tournament’s favorites before the start need a win today to ensure their passage to the knockout phases. Spain is sure to come hard and fast, and after that easy victory over the hapless Hondurans they may just have gotten back their swagger. They’ll need it against a Chilean side that has looked confident in their two wins. Will La Roja be able to pierce the usually-solid Spanish defense, or will the star-studded front line of Spain tear apart the South Americans? Chile need at least a point to guarantee advancement – expect all guns a’blazin!
Key men for Spain: every stinkin’ one of them.
Key men for Chile: Matias Fernandez, and Carlos Carmona. Too bad they’re both suspended with two yellows a piece. Jorge Valdivia (Al Ain, UAE) will stand in for Fernandez, and Rodrigo Millar (Colo Colo, CHI) is probable for the midfielder Carmona.
All the action after the bump!
Group H fixtures, results & standings:
- Wed June 16 (Day 6): Switzerland 1, Spain 0
- Wed June 16 (Day 6): Chile 1, Honduras 0
- Sun June 21 (Day 11): Chile v Switzerland
- Sun June 21 (Day 11): Spain v Honduras
- Fri June 25 (Day 15): Chile v Spain
- Fri June 25 (Day 15): Switzerland v Honduras
Video highlights of completed matches below.
Chile vs. Switzerland: SNOOZE. Besides that rando-red card, there hasn’t been much to report on in this match-up IMHO… except, of course, this game’s clear pick for Most Valuable Hottie: the young-and-banging Carlos Emilio Carmona Tello, Chile’s 23-year-old midfielder who was the touch-leader of the first half of the game (I think I made that up, but it means he had the most touches of the ball – 43)! Carlos was his country’s youngest player at the 2005 U-20 World Cup in Holland and captained some other teams I think. I can’t find that much about him on the internet, but don’t you just want to drown in those bedroom eyes? La Swoon!