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Chile beats Australia 3-1 in World Cup

By Steve Douglas

CUIABA, Brazil (AP) - Alexis Sanchez produced a dynamic performance to lead Chile to a 3-1 win over Australia in the World Cup on Friday, scoring one goal and setting up another for one of the dangerous outsiders in the tournament.

Chile threatened to run away with the game in muggy Cuiaba when Sanchez poked home from close range in the 12th minute, before setting up Jorge Valdivia barely a minute later for the playmaker to finish from the edge of the area.

But Australia recovered well, responding with a trademark headed goal by star forward Tim Cahill in the 35th and giving the Chileans a string of scares in the second half. However, Jean Beausejour put the game away for Chile in injury time to help the South Americans level on three points in Group B with the Netherlands, which thrashed Spain 5-1 earlier Friday.

Boasting its best ever squad for a World Cup, Chile has been strongly tipped by many - including Pele - to go far in Brazil despite being thrown in the same group as two of Europe's top teams.

And the Spanish, ripped apart by the Dutch in Salvador, will not be relishing playing Chile in their next game on Wednesday, with the holders' title defense on the line.

Spain's players will know all about Sanchez as he has spent the last three years at Barcelona, and the sprightly forward carried over his most prolific season at Camp Nou here against a flimsy Australia defense.

Sanchez was on hand to guide in a close-range finish inside the near post after Australia captain Mile Jedinak failed to head clear Charles Aranguiz's cross. The celebrations had hardly died down when Sanchez span his marker and laid the ball across for Valdivia to finish high into the net from 20 yards (meters).

"It's gut wrenching to be honest," Australia coach Ange Postecoglou said. "In the end, we gave away a two-goal start and that's what killed us."

It was already looking like a damage-limitation exercise for the beleaguered Socceroos, the lowest-ranked nation in Brazil. The raucous Chilean fans were regaling their team's crisp passing with chants "Ole" and a no-look backheel from Sanchez highlighted his confidence.

But Chile's momentum was punctured when Cahill, renowned for his tremendous jumping ability, leapt above diminutive marker Gary Medel to thump home a header from a right-wing cross.

"They got in twice," Cahill said. "(But) after that you could see their legs were going. We knew we could get something out of this game. We stood up strong. It's just unfortunate, not a lot went our way tonight, and it showed."

The New York Red Bulls star then squandered chances either side of halftime before another fine header was ruled out for offside.

Chile still looked dangerous going forward - Eduardo Vargas had a shot cleared off the line - but Australia remained in the game right until the end, when Beausejour drilled in a low shot from 30 yards in the second minute of injury time. Fireworks exploded after being thrown onto the pitch.

Arturo Vidal started and played 59 minutes for Chile on his return from injury.

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Endre June 13 2014 at 10:24 PM

Well, AOL showed all the goals against Spain in video, but not against Australia, i smell the usual bias.

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4 replies
eebslaptop June 13 2014 at 11:58 PM

AOL SUCKS FOR WHAT YOU PAY FOR- To old and dum to change now I don't think they have many people under forty payiny to this sight.

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1 reply
impexlink eebslaptop June 14 2014 at 4:29 AM

AOL is a greedy company. They are no longer what it was when AOL first came out.

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David S. June 14 2014 at 7:34 AM

Hilarious to hear everyone trashing soccer.......yet parnets in the USA fight to get their kids on the soccer teams in elementary and high school, to the point of sprains, broken limbs, etc. Go figure.

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2 replies
hus4154 David S. June 14 2014 at 9:37 AM

Soccer injuries are much less severe than football. More skills are required of all players, and size is not that much of a benefit. For people with a short attention span, however, soccer is not the game.

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Madeye David S. June 14 2014 at 12:02 PM

Maybe these are the parents whose kids couldn't make the cut.

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lawrencefishberg June 14 2014 at 6:30 AM

The only thing exciting about soccer is that for some unfathomable reason, the world plays it....the world also relieves itself, but that doesn't make it interesting.

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4 replies
dal June 14 2014 at 7:24 AM

who cares who won at kick ball? thousands of people living in shanties and I am suppose to give a rat's Butt about a bunch of boys kicking a ball around?

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1 reply
quintondall dal June 14 2014 at 12:01 PM

It doesn't seem to bother many americans that so many aspiring students are denied their future so dumba ass football players who can barely read or write (properly) get into college

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2 replies
jwfoust quintondall June 14 2014 at 12:19 PM

And in the process earn the University, many times, thousands and thousands of dollars, to say nothing of the publicity. FYI - not all none football players are Rhoades scholars. Some of them struggle on the education front as well. There's a price to be paid for everything.

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fabiolenoir quintondall June 14 2014 at 12:49 PM

Also, after they get free college admission, later on in life from hitting each other in the head like Maniacs and they get alzheimer and other brain injuries that become burden to tax payers.

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HIEP HOI NAILS June 14 2014 at 8:57 AM

The Chile Team played a wonderful game ! They will advance to semi final stage , I bet !
The Netherlands may also a heavy candidate to win a World Cup 2014 ! Sorry , my favor team always the Brasil Samba , but I doubt their talent to win this 6Th World Cup !

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Abul June 14 2014 at 9:06 AM

World Champ Spain was simply not able to hold Holland. What happened to them? Is that an entirely new team?

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1 reply
luigi1947 Abul June 14 2014 at 1:29 PM

actually, most of the players been in the last cup. I think the age factor may have a lot to do with it

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tucville2002 June 14 2014 at 1:36 PM

Australia is a great nation of cricketers, and they are world-record players in cricket. So I am not surprised to learn that Chile has scored 3-1.
Former cricketer, and football full-back & goal keeper

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aol~~ 1209600


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