Chile took home the spoils but certainly found this encounter harder than expected. Australia looked to be out the game early on but launched an impressive fight mainly through Ex-Everton striker Tim Cahill.
Dark horses of the World Cup, Chile managed to grab all 3 points tonight, but it wasn’t as easy as many expected. It certainly seemed like it would be that way early on, goals from Alexis Sanchez and Valdivia in the 12th and 14th minutes made it look like it would be a long night for Australia.
Then just over half way through the first half Australia started to show real resolve, bombarding forward and showing no fear. After not giving up from an initial cross, another one was soon whipped in and Tim Cahill was there to leap high and nod it past a hapless Bravo.
Australia continued to play an attacking philosophy right through the second half and thought they had equalised through Tim Cahill only for him to be called offside. It was to be fair to the linesman, a great decision.
Both teams continued to play an attacking style and despite there being no more goals for a long period, it was an enthralling end to end encounter, with at one point Australia’s Wilkinson clearing a Vargas shot off the line.
The game was put beyond doubt when Wigan Athletic’s Jean Beausejour hit a fine strike in the 90th minute on the edge of the box, which skidded past an onlooking Ryan.
Chile will be happy the game ended when it did and can look back at being second in the table and quietly confident of qualifying. Australia certainly did their country proud tonight and Tim Cahill was a particular star, rolling back the years and causing a load of problems for the Chilean defence.