The South American side are in with a chance of
eliminating the defending champions and the talismanic
Juventus midfielder believes his side can triumph in
By Peter Staunton in Cuiaba
Arturo Vidal believes that his Chile side are equipped to knock
Spain out of the World Cup.
The defending champions were routed 5-1 by the
Netherlands in their opening Group B fixture and will face
Chile on Wednesday June 18 in the Maracana.
Vidal's side defeated Australia in a pulsating encounter in
Cuiaba on Friday night to move level with the Dutch on points
and Jorge Sampaoli's men now face a crucial second game
against the holders.
If the Spaniards are defeated then their World Cup defence
will end after only two matches, and the Juventus midfielder
believes that Chile are up to the challenge after goals from
Alexis Sanchez, Jorge Valdivia and Jean Beausejour downed
"Spain will have watched our game today," Vidal told Goal.
"They know it will be always difficult for them to play
Chile raced into an early two-goal lead with Sanchez right at
the heart of the action. He fired Chile ahead with a smart
finish following strong play by Charles Aranguiz before laying
on an assist for Jorge Valdivia's brilliant contribution.
The South Americans threatened at that stage to
overwhelm the Socceroos but a moment of laxity brought the
underdogs right back into the game.
An Ivan Franjic cross was met by a characteristic Tim Cahill
header, who left Claudio Bravo with no chance. Cahill could
have levelled moments later when Matthew Leckie found him
with a through pass but Bravo was equal to the task on that
Australia had the better of the chances thereafter, if not all
the play, and Chile in the second half had Bravo to thank for
ultimately preserving all three points.
"It was a very difficult game," Vidal admitted afterwards.
The threat of Sanchez on the break remained throughout
and he occupied the Australian defence with his ability to
turn quickly and find passes behind the lines.
On one occasion in the second half, his dexterity won him
space away from the Aussies and he slipped a hidden pass
into the path of Eduardo Vargas. The Valencia man's effort
was goal-bound but tame and Alex Wilkinson was able to
clear off the line before the goal-line technology system
Chile finally quenched the Australian challenge in injury time
when Jean Beausejour struck a left-footed shot across Mat
Ryan for 3-1.
Vidal played the best part of an hour in his comeback from
knee surgery which limited his participation in Chile's build-up
to the tournament. The Juventus midfielder is confident that
his knee will stand up to the rigours of tournament football.
"The knee is fine," he said. "Every day I give everything so I
am able to play."