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Published on June 3rd, 2012 | by Daniel Boyle


Despite Victory, Chile will Need More Against Venezuela

LA PAZ – With victory against Bolivia in La Paz, Chile have moved from fifth to second in the South American qualifying group. The absence of Brazil from the qualifying process means there is one more place than usual for the South American teams and Chile will hope to return to the World Cup once again.

Chile have the best record of all the South American countries in La Paz, and improved upon that record with the victory, however there are many areas of concern for coach Claudio Borghi. The next challenge comes on Saturday against Venezuela. The Vinotinto scored late in the match to finish 1-1 with Uruguay, allowing La Roja to jump both sides on the qualification ladder.

Borghi said after the match, “when we were eliminated from the Copa America, many said it was unfair. They have a good squad. Now they have more obligations, they are a more respected squad.”

As with the match against Ghana, Barcelona forward Alexis Sánchez was targeted for heavy treatment. The Tocopilla product went down injured twice in a short passage of time early in the second half. After making a break, he was hacked down by the Bolivian defence. To add insult to injury, he had the ball kicked at him, earning Luis Gutiérrez a yellow card in the 53rd minute.

Despite holding the extra man advantage, it was not until late in the game that the Chileans added to the goal scored by Charles Aránguiz at the end of the first half. Arturo Vidal made the most of his return, scoring the goal to make the score 2-0 following some excellent work by Eduardo Vargas to force a corner.

Vargas replaced Humberto Suazo who struggled throughout the game, regularly slowing down the play in attacking movements with slight mistakes.  Despite the limited game time of Vargas at Napoli, he looked fresh and suited to the match.

Captain Claudio Bravo had a strong match, saving a number of shots from the Bolivian attackers. His performance was made to look stronger by some wildly inaccurate shots against him. The Bolivians regularly kicked high or wide with an open goal.

It was in the defense that La Roja showed key issues. While Universidad de Chile captain José Rojas played strongly, his partners Osvaldo González and Pablo Contreras were regularly beaten or making simple mistakes to put extra pressure on Bravo.

The players returned to Santiago after the match and have been given today as a rest day. They will return to preparations for the Venezuela clash tomorrow. Gary Medel remains in doubt for the clash. The Sevilla midfield missed the Bolivia match with a back injury.

Bolivia remain last in the qualifying group. A draw against Argentina leaves them with one point.

What were your thoughts on the game? Are there any changes you would make to the squad? Let us know in the comments below…

This post was originally published on I Love Chile.

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Founder of @sportslashlife. Australian living in Chile. Freestyle footbag player and passionate sports fan.

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