Brazilians soar past La Roja
But Bielsa made an elementary mistake. He forgot to issue his players with stilts. The lack of height in the Chile defence was always likely to be a problem against a team with such a recent history of scoring from set pieces.
In training last year, Chile were lining up a defensive wall. Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo glanced at the collection of little men in front of him and said, "That's not a wall, that's a sidewalk." Brazil stepped over it to open their way to a comfortable 3-0 victory.
In the first half-hour, there was hardly a serious opportunity on goal. Humberto Suazo of Chile had seen a shot saved - at the other end Gilberto Silva and Ramires had tried their luck from long range, and Luis Fabiano had fired a cross-shot wide.
But then Maicon took a corner from the right. It was curled out, too far away from goal for Bravo to come - and Brazil's phalanx of giants were there waiting. It could have been Lucio, or Luis Fabiano, or Gilberto Silva. But it was Juan, soaring like a rocket to head home the seventh goal of his long international career - four of them against the Chileans.
Brazil would love to carry Chile around with them and play them every week. This is not a criticism of Marcelo Bielsa's side, whose commitment to attack has been so refreshing in this World Cup. But, as they say, styles make fights, and the style of Chile is all but guaranteed to make Brazil look good. Dunga's men are devastating on the counter attack and deadly from set pieces. Chile are vulnerable to both.
In football, of course, the best team does not always win. It is one of the secrets of the game's great appeal. Chile would have needed to ride their luck to win this one -Brazil's chances hitting the post, or miraculously saved, while Chile's top men would have had to produce world class performances. But Alexis Sanchez was kept quiet - once Brazil took the lead they could drop and deny him space, and Humberto Suazo, South America's top scorer in qualification, was clearly less then 100 per cent fit.
Brazil, then, won at a canter. In truth, with the respective balance of forces and the clash of styles, this was one of the easiest World Cup games to predict.
But the same cannot be said about Brazil's quarter-final against Holland on Friday. Along with the next day's Argentina-Germany clash, it looks like the tie of the tournament. And it is would also seem to offer the easiest route to the final, with the winner of Uruguay and Ghana waiting in the semis.
Friday, then, is the moment of truth for Dunga and his men. Holland are a super-powered version of Chile. They offer threat down the flanks, with Arjen Robben coming into form at the right time. They want to attack, and might at times be vulnerable to the counter. Their defence can be caught flat, which will please Luis Fabiano, who took advantage of this weakness in the Chile back line to help himself to another goal. But the Dutch are bigger and stronger than Chile. It won't be as easy to break the deadlock with a set piece.
The World Cup has thrown up some great matches between Brazil and Holland. In 1974 the 2-0 victory of the Dutch had an enormous effect on the development of the Brazilian game.
Twenty years later, the Dutch fought back to 2-2 only to be undone by Branco's long-range free kick.
Four years later they fought out a 1-1 draw in the semi-finals. Ronaldo produced one of his best World Cup displays, but Holland looked the stronger side, only to lose their nerve in the penalty shoot out.
Three great games have formed a tradition - the 2010 quarter-final has everything to add a thrilling new chapter.
About the Author
The son of a reasonably skilled amateur soccer player, Tim Vickery inherited the enthusiasm but none of the talent - and soon came to the conclusion that his best position was on the sidelines writing about the game. Tim did not make it out of his native England until the age of 23, but has since made up for lost time. He has been based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for over 15 years, and writes and broadcasts about South American soccer for, among others, the BBC, World Soccer magazine, and SI.com.