Chile hold off battling Australia in 3-1 win

Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:05pm EDT
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By Mary Milliken

CUIABA Brazil (Reuters) - Chile got the victory they needed if they are to have any chance of progressing from a daunting Group B when they held off a strong Australian fightback to emerge 3-1 winners in another open and entertaining World Cup match on Friday.

Alexis Sanchez put Chile ahead from close range after 12 minutes and two minutes later Jorge Valdivia made it 2-0 with a well-struck shot as the South Americans looked in control.

Australia fought back strongly, though, and Tim Cahill replied with a trademark header after 35 minutes and thought he had equalized with another early in the second half only to have it ruled offside by an excellent linesman's decision.

Both sides went close in an end-to-end second half before Jean Beausejour grabbed a third for Chile in stoppage time, and they will now have to try to get something from games against Spain or the Netherlands, who thrashed the holders 5-1 earlier in the day.

Amidst the 40,000 spectators at Cuiaba's brand new Pantanal arena, dominated by Chile's "Red Tide" of fans, the South Americans looked to be coasting to a comfortable victory when Sanchez and Valdivia scored in quick succession.

"The ambience really helped the team establish its authority to go after those goals at the beginning," Chile's Argentine coach Jorge Sampaoli told reporters.


Chile's Jean Beausejour (2nd L) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against Australia during their 2014 World Cup Group B soccer match at the Pantanal arena in Cuiaba June 13, 2014.  REUTERS/Eric Gaillard