Opening Match (Smashed?)According to the 2011 Census there are 24,900 Chileans who live in Australia. Most of these Chilitos reside in Bossley Park and Fairfield in Western Sydney NSW. A lot of them would be Western Sydney Wanderers supporters and only a small percentage I suspect would be supporting the Socceroos. Ahh the duality of being an ephnic football supporter. I'm sure these Chilitos (i just love that nickname) are all licking their Arolla De Chanco flavoured lips at the prospect of getting three points against the Socceroos.
I have a Chilean friend with a very Chilean name called Bruno. He told me a story once about how his father used to be a bodyguard for a Chilean politician around the 1960's or 1970's. One day this Chilean politician had an assassination attempt made on his life. Bruno's father the bodyguard ran away with no intention at all of protecting the politician. "Fuck this guy i'm not giving him my life" was the way Bruno told the story of hisfFather's mindset as he ducked and ran for cover as the bullets flew past.
What does this story have to do with the Socceroos opening World Cup match (smashed?) against La Roja? Nothing really just an entertaining side bar to help stretch out this preview because to be honest I'm not a Chilean football expert and neither is Bruno he hates Soccer!
Chile Fact File
What I do know about Chile thanks to the Official Australian FIFA World Cup Media Guide is that Chile's highest World Cup placing was in 1962 were they finished third. I say that because for this edition of the Cup some experts have Chile as one of the favourites. Ouch! How many favourites for the World Cup can you have in one group?
I know Chile qualified third in their South American World Cup Qualifying group. I know that their record against the Socceroos is four games played, with three wins to Chile and one draw. That draw was at the 1974 World Cup against a team of no name part timers. Could it be an Omen for this game? Probably not but a draw would be a positive result so i'll take it as an Omen.
Looking at their squad list I know that Chile has World Clarsh players in their team. Defender Mauricio Isla (47 caps) plays for Juventus, Winger Alexis Sanches (67 caps, 22 goals) could possibly tear the Socceroos back line a new one. Valencia forward Eduardo Vargas (30 caps, 14 goals) is no slouch either. His dial is always on the highlights real when Chile plays. Arturo Vidal (54 caps, 8 goals) has been in the news in recent days because the Juventus playmaker is injured and could miss the game. But as Mile Jedinak has been saying he is only one player.
Will the Socceroos cause an upset?
Most Socceroos fans in Brazil didn't put a 10k debt on their credit card to see the Green and Gold get smashed. Even though Josh Kennedy (Jesus) didn't make it to Brazil fans back home and in Brazil are praying for some type of miracle.. Is there a Messiah for the Socceroos who can walk on water and can turn graft and grit into goals? Can Tim Cahill do it again? Can Bresh find some space for a killer pass, through ball or sumptuous cross? Can Tommy Oar turn potential into Socceroos provider?
Historically a win or a draw in the first game compared to a loss increases the chances of a team qualifying for the next stage. The Socceroos are eschewing their opponents favouritism by talking up their low expectations and underdog status as well as their team spirit. However low expectations and underdog status didn't help the Socceroos cause against Germany four years ago.
What the Socceroos do have in their favour is the element of surprise. Chile will probably be focusing on their own game. While the Socceroos coaching staff would be putting in the hours analyzing the Chilitos players and their playing patterns like a Tiger Mom instructing their child to study harder!
C'mon just start the game already!
There is nothing more to really say. I'm all previewed out and probably so are you. After narrowly missing out on the group stage four years ago in South Africa and having to go through Holger Oscieck's harrowing tenure. We are now just hours away from Ange Postecoglu's youth and attack policy. The Socceroos players, fans and coaching staff stand on the precipice ( Andy Harper ©) of World Cup elimination or World Cup distinction.
Will the Socceroos Fall or Rise?
All that's left is C'mon the Socceroos and Super Timmy Cahill Australia needs you to Head Farken!