Tag: Chile

World Cup 2010: Brazil 3-0 Chile

World Cup Television Clichés 101: Germany are efficient, the Netherlands play “total football”, Spain are under-achievers and Brazil play to a samba rhythm. One by one, the long-held preconceptions of global football are starting to be turned on their heads. Germany’s defence looks capable of being tested by an attack with pace and flair. The Netherlands are playing functional football. Spain could (and, with difficult matches yet to come) become only the second club to be simultaneously the European and World champions. And this year’s Brazil team are playing football that is several thousand miles removed from the great romantic teams of the past. Of all the above clichés, the final one seems the most difficult to come to terms with. The Brazil national football team has a strange effect on people. We suspect that their schedule is stage-managed by Nike and we are pretty sure that they don’t play enough matches in their home country, but we want to believe the story of the Brazilian football team so much that we hear a samba when it isn’t there. But there is a reason for this – romance doesn’t often win trophies. Some of the most fondly-remembered teams in the entire history of the World Cup finals, including the 1974 Netherlands team, the 1954 Hungary team and, of course, Brazil’s wonderful 1982 vintage, are teams that have managed, somehow,...

Read More

World Cup 2010: Chile 1-2 Spain

“Not a word sung by the Spanish players, they know they have to win,” proclaims Clive Tyldesley, as the Spanish national anthem finishes. The fans must know they have to win too, because they aren’t singing any words either. It’s almost as if there ARE NO WORDS TO THE SPANISH NATIONAL ANTHEM. I missed ITV’s pre-amble to that point, but I still saw way too much. Co-commentator Chris Coleman seems a tad over-fond of the phrase “A fit Torres would have got that,” using it regardless of whether Torres “got it” or not. Coleman has the good grace to apologise for “going on about it.” There are nine minutes gone. Chile are frighteningly good in the early stages, slicing open the Spanish defence more than once and unlucky that Mark Gonzalez slips as he tries to finish off the best move, although large parts of Liverpool might suggest he’d have found the corner flag one way or another. Tyldesley makes the astonishing admission that South American football is “all a bit of a mystery to us,” bemoaning the lack of domestic TV access to “the Copa Libertadores and all that.” I suppose you’d have to be a full-time professional football commentator working for a major broadcasting network to… ah. Inexplicably, Tyldesley says “Ascuncion” like an English tourist trying to make foreigners understand him, but it is not to be...

Read More

World Cup 2010: Honduras 0-1 Chile

ITV 1 gives twenty minutes introduction time to this 12.30 kick-off. But its 12.26 before the actual game it self is addressed, the rest being about England, who aren’t playing for another 55 hours. Honduran kids, we are told, have to learn all seven verses of their national anthem. If that was the case in Britain we’d all know the bit about “rebellious Scots to crush” – which would double the Scottish National Party’s vote in one single history lesson. Jon Champion promises that we’ll get an abridged version. But the Chilean anthem appears to be cut off halfway through a verse, as the crowd and players sing on regardless for about three lines after the music stops. If they really have had to cut it short for an ad break, I might give up on ITV altogether – bar Adrian Chiles who has lived up to and surpassed all the hype. Remember Steve Rider? Exactly. Chile have predicted that they can make the semi-finals, at which Champion expresses incredulity. But, as he informs us, they finished second in the South American qualifying group and were top scorers. So why not? The game itself backs up Chile’s case rather than Champion’s. It’s a relief and a delight in equal measure that we have two teams whose first instinct is to attack. It’s just a pity that only Chile are...

Read More

World Cup Preview: Group H

The 19th World Cup Finals kick-off in just seven days, and the impending five week surge of ill-informed tabloid jingoism is tantalisingly within reach. Trying hard to not get carried away, but gnawing at the rope which tethers him to his kennel with excitement nevertheless is Dotmund, who today completes his in-depth look at the runners and riders for South Africa 2010. Today, a sneaky peak at the reigning European champions, a second-time Central American qualifier, a team from a country with a lot of cheese in and a team from a country which is quite long and thin.

Read More

World Cup Tales: The Battle Of Santiago, 1962

We hear a lot about the decline and fall of western civilization these days, but moral outrage at the behaviour of footballers is nothing new and, indeed, players at the World Cup finals this summer will have to go a long way to outdo the most serious incidents of player-on-player violence in the history of the tournament, many of which considerably predate the coming of colour television, to say the least. In this respect, the group match between Chile and Italy at the 1962 World Cup finals probably remains the most infamous example of a World Cup match that became something else. It wasn’t the first – three players, for example, were sent off during a quarter-final match between Hungary and Brazil at the 1954 tournament in Switzerland – but, even now, it sets the high water mark for outright violence on the pitch during what is supposed to be football’s showpiece tournament. The second-hand nature of what went on during “The Battle Of Santiago” was evident from the moniker that the match subsequently acquired. The 1954 match between Hungary and Brazil had earnt the nickname of “The Battle Of Berne”, and prior even to that a match at the 1938 finals between Brazil and Czechoslovakia had earnt itself the nickname of “The Battle Of Bordeaux” after becoming the first match in the history of the tournament to see...

Read More