• Chile 3-1 Australia, World Cup Group B

Chile cling on after fast start

ESPN staff
June 13, 2014
Alexis Sanchez beats a bewildered Australian defence to give Chile the lead after just 12 minutes © Getty Images

Goals from Alexis Sanchez and Jorge Valdivia in the opening 14 minutes helped Chile to a 3-1 victory over Australia in their World Cup Group B encounter in Cuiaba.

With the Netherlands humiliating holders Spain 5-1 in the other match in the group earlier in the day, it was a golden opportunity for either side to steal a march in the battle for qualification for the last 16.

However, it was Chile who started by far the hotter side, with Alexis Sanchez forcing the ball home after some woeful defending by an Australian side who looked like they might freeze entirely on the big stage.

That fear pervaded again just two minutes later when Valdivia drilled a shot from the edge of the box high into the net.

But Australia steadily gained a foothold in the game and Tim Cahill pulled a goal back with a trademark header on 35 minutes.

Cahill thought he had equalised in the second half but saw his goal disallowed - correctly - for offside, and though Australia had the better chances in the remainder of the game, Chile extended their lead in injury time when Jean Beausejour fired home from the edge of the box.

The result means Chile and the Netherlands - who beat Spain 5-1 earlier in the day - are in control of their own destinies in Group B and would each progress if they win their next match, with Chile facing Spain and Netherlands up against Australia.

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