Featured Matches
Previous
Internazionale
Manchester United
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Madrid
AS Roma
1:15 AM GMT
Game Details
Recreativo Huelva
Sunderland
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sparta Prague
Malmo FF
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Sparta Prague
Malmo FF
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Slovan Bratislava
Sheriff Tiraspol
6:15 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Debrecen
BATE Borisov
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Wealdstone
Wycombe Wanderers
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Frickley Athletic
Scunthorpe XI
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Exeter City
Swansea City
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Alfreton Town
Rotherham United
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Burton Albion
Derby County
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Lincoln City
Mansfield Town
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Newport County
Coventry City
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Notts County
Birmingham City
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Portsmouth
AFC Bournemouth
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Stevenage
Reading
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Altrincham
Accrington Stanley
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cambridge United
Milton Keynes Dons
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cheltenham Town
Bristol City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Concord Rangers
Dagenham & Redbridge
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Dumbarton
Carlisle United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Hyde
Burnley XI
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Kidderminster Harriers
Shrewsbury Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Leyton Orient
Queens Park Rangers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Luton Town
Colchester United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Margate
Barnet
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Oxford United
Wolverhampton Wanderers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Preston North End
Burnley
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Sheffield United
Huddersfield Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Southend United
Ipswich Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Recreativo Huelva
Sunderland
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Valerenga
Stabaek
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Defensor Sporting
Nacional
12:15 AM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 2
Game Details
Náutico
Icasa
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Portuguesa de Desportos
Oeste
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Internazionale
Manchester United
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Madrid
AS Roma
1:15 AM GMT
Game Details
Cienciano del Cusco
Alianza Lima
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Next

Marcotti: A tournament to remember

World Cup Jul 14, 2014
Read
 Posted by Fernando Duarte
Jun 27, 2014

Why the Selecao fear Chile

The Men in Blazers, Roger Bennett and Michael Davies, look ahead to the Brazil vs. Chile match and deliver their cupcake-flavored predictions.

You don't need to be Chilean or superstitious to feel a little spooked: for the third time in the past five World Cups and the second tournament in a row, Brazil and Chile will tussle for a place in the quarterfinals. It looks even eerier: just like in South Africa 2010, Saturday's game in Belo Horizonte will also be refereed by Howard Webb. Throw in the fact that none of their previous encounters troubled the Seleção even a tiny bit -- a 3-0 win in 2010 and a 4-1 win in 1998 -- and it would be simple to assume they must be feeling reasonably confident.

Wrong. The mood ahead of their clash at the Estadio Mineirão is far from absolute confidence. After a rocky ride in the group stages the Seleção have not stamped their authority on the tournament as their supporters would have liked them to. While Neymar has hit the ground running and will start the knockout stages as one the tournament's top scorers, the team as a whole has stuttered; only in the second half against Cameroon did they show glimpses of the swarm that suffocated all comers in 2013. More concerning is that they will now face a team that has taken giant killing to a new level.

Scolari mentioned his fear of Chile before the World Cup. Now we'll see if he was right to be afraid.
Scolari mentioned his fear of Chile before the World Cup. Now we'll see if he was right to be afraid.

It was impossible not to be impressed by the way Chile disposed of Spain in Rio a couple of weeks ago. Despite the obvious caveat that La Furia were still licking their wounds after being humiliated by the Dutch in Salvador, Jorge Sampaoli's side gave Andres Iniesta and Co. an impressive send-off. But even before the Spanish version of the Maracanazo, Luiz Felipe Scolari had already voiced some concerns. "I wouldn't really like to play Chile," Big Phil said a few days ahead of the start of the tournament.

The reason was simple: since taking over the Seleção in November 2012, Scolari has had the chance to measure his team twice against the Chileans. In both games the less fancied neighbors gave the Selecao a run for their money, including a 2-2 draw in April 2012 at the same stadium that plays host on Saturday.

BrazilBrazil
ChileChile
(3) 1
(2) 1
ESPN3, ABC FT-Pens
Match 49
Game Details

In November they met again in Canada and Brazil's 2-1 win came with two important caveats: Chile were jet-lagged after flying from London, having a couple days before run rings around England at Wembley. And they scored with the only chance they created in that game.

"I do remember how many difficulties we had against them. Chile are a South American side that has evolved a lot in the last few years and they are quite organized," Scolari added.

Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal and Co. are also desperate to finally beat Brazil at a World Cup. Starting with a Garrincha-led 4-2 routing in their 1962 World Cup semifinal (which Chile hosted), La Roja has never really threatened the Seleção. What changed now is that Chile has put together their best team in generations, backing it up with exciting performances that justify the hype. One would have to back to the 1980s to find the last time a Chilean team had been so talked about.

Chile have impressed so far at the World Cup. Can they finally overcome Brazil?
Chile have impressed so far at the World Cup. Can they finally overcome Brazil?

Unfortunately, that generation made the headlines for all the right and wrong reasons. Led by strikers Ivo Basay, Juan Letelier and a young Ivan Zamorano, they finished only behind Uruguay in the 1987 Copa America but sent shockwaves across the continent by routing Brazil 4-0.

When both countries were drawn in the same qualifying group for Italia 1990, Chile could be forgiven for feeling confident but it all went wrong; during the decisive game at the Maracana, goalkeeper Roberto Rojas faked an injury by cutting himself with a blade he had hidden in his glove after a flare from the crowd had landed near him. Newspaper pictures showed the farce and FIFA, led at the time by Brazilian João Havelange, not only disqualified Chile but also suspended them from the 1994 qualifiers. Rojas was banned for life and Zamorano would have to wait until France 1998 to finally play at the World Cup.

There has never been a better time for Chile to try to exorcise their demons. Despite their 2-0 defeat to Holland in São Paulo on Monday, they impressed by keeping 64 percent of possession and left the impression they could inflict damage to the hosts if the Seleção are caught napping.

This feeling is shared by some of Sampaoli's main opponents. After the Cameroon game, Neymar and Dani Alves pointed out the danger represented by Barcelona teammate Alexis Sanchez. Last Thursday, Fred also expressed his worries about the Chilean attacking trio formed by Vidal, Eduardo Vargas and Sanchez.

Chile have had good teams before but Ivan Zamorano and Co. were humbled by Brazil in 1998.
Chile have had good teams before but Ivan Zamorano and Co. were humbled by Brazil in 1998.

"Those guys are very technical and very fast. They move a lot, run relentlessly. We are going to have to play well and avoid mistakes to beat those guys. And I have a feeling they are fancying their chances to beat us," said the Fluminense striker, who admittedly spent some extra time over the past few days watching videos of Chile in action.

Most of all, Chile are not nearly under as much pressure as Brazil to perform and the Seleção's load weighs a ton more now that they are in far from peak form. It would still be a massive upset if the Chileans pulled it off, though, and facing them might actually make Brazil finally click.

For the first time in decades the Seleção find themselves properly worried about a footballing neighbour that isn't Argentina or Uruguay. That really says it all.

Fernando Duarte

A U.K.-based Brazilian football expert who has followed the Selecao for 10 years and regularly features as a pundit for media outlets in Europe, South America and Asia. He's also a Flamengo fan.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.