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World Cup pre-game: Chile vs. Australia

In only their second World Cup clash, Chile, Australia already face a must-win scenario in Group B Friday (CBC, CBC.ca/fifaworldcup, 5:30 p.m. ET).

Teams already face must-win scenarios

Aussie Tim Cahill (4) has an uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Group B: Chile vs. Australia

  • June 13, 5:30 p.m. ET
  • Live on CBC TV, streaming online at cbc.ca/fifaworldcup

What’s at stake

These teams don’t know each other very well as this will be their only second World Cup match, having battled to a 0-0 draw in the group stage of 1974.

Success in this first game is critical for both squads before they run smack into the other Group B teams, Spain and Holland.

Impact players

  • Chile: Alexis Sanchez. This 25-year old Barca striker scored 21 goals in all competitions in 2013-2014, including 19 in La Liga. Chile wants to harness his scoring touch.
  • Australia: Tim Cahill. The best-known player on his national team, Cahill has an uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time. He’s a menace in the box, often appearing out of nowhere.

What to watch for

Chile is attack-oriented and they love running. The Chileans will look to pile on goals against the Socceroos.

Last fall, Australia lost consecutive international matches by a score of 6:0 first against Brazil then France. Not surprisingly, its manager Holger Osieck was subsequently sacked. The Aussies will need a strong defence to stay in the game, and the tournament.

They said it

“We are obligated to get Chile to the 2014 World Cup.” Chilean manager Jorge Sampaoli told the Associated Press earlier this year.

“'We will just keep working on the game plan with a real focus now to Chile, analyzing them to a great extent, making sure we can diminish their strengths and expose some of their weakness it's all about that first game now.” Australian manager AngePostecoglou, speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald following his team’s warm-up loss to Croatia.

The Big Number

25  The Chileans had 25 goals scored against them in qualifying (while scoring 29), and the Australians scored 25 goals on their road to Brazil (while letting in 12).

Obligatory Fun Fact

Australian keeper Mark Schwarzer made his international debut against Canada in a 1994 World Cup qualifier. He’s still playing, while Canada hasn’t been to a World Cup since 1986.

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