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FIFA World Cup: Netherlands, Chile to play out crucial match in Group B

IANS 23 Jun 2014, 7:01:20 AM IST
Sao Paulo (Brazil): Although both teams are already through to the last-16, the last match in Group B between the Netherlands and Chile could decide who takes on Brazil in the next round.

The result of the match decides the Group B winners or number two, reports Xinhua.

The Netherlands and Chile will play first so Brazil could theoretically even pick whom to play in the next round. Croatia and Mexico are also still in contention for the first and second spot in Group A.

Both the Dutch and Chile impressed in the first two matches, with the former beating Spain 5-1 and Australia 3-2, while Chile won 2-0 against Spain and 3-1 versus Australia.

Due to a better goal difference the Dutch are on top of the group and could settle for a draw to stay number one.

"The toughest opponent," Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal said about Chile during the press conference here Sunday.

"They have a fantastic coach (Jorge Sampaoli), who lets them play offensive and combative. We also play well, so it's 50-50. They do fore-checking with the whole team. We have to be capable to come out of their pressure."

Not only the last 16 could be taken into account, but also the following road to the final.

"I don't say which opponent we prefer," said Van Gaal. "We are just happy to have reached the second round and the way we did it. We now just want to finish first in the group, because we want to reach the final and we think the schedule as number one is a little better than the schedule as number two."

"I can imagine Brazil does not want to play against us," Van Gaal added. "We scored eight goals, fantastic goals, that's a lot. I don' t think our tactic is as offensive as we used to play, but still we play offensive.

“We play a tactic which suits our players best. They enjoy themselves, they want to fight for each other. The atmosphere in the group is very good."

Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli is aware of his counterpart's options.

"It's going to be a strategically difficult match, because Van Gaal looks for several options and they will try to control us," he said during a press conference.

"But we have the power to uncover certain Dutch deficiencies. The team that wins will be the one who has the necessary will."

Sampaoli has no injury worries, although he might decide to rest Arturo Vidal who still has some knee complaints and will also be suspended if booked. Charles Aranguiz, who was declared fit after a knee injury, and Eugenio Mena are both on one yellow card as well.

"We just want to win this group and we will decide what players we need to do so," concluded Sampaoli.

"Our priority is this game. We're not looking at second round, we're looking at this match. We will have to win this group and will treat this match as if it is a final."