Wednesday, 14 November 2012 20:36
Disappointing Chile suffer defeat with Alexis Sánchez forced off injured in first half.
Chile suffered another international defeat Wednesday against an efficient Serbian team who won the friendly match 3-1 and was more than worthy of its victory. Despite fielding a strong-looking team, Claudio Borghi’s Chile lacked confidence after recent defeats and looked out of its comfort zone against a well-drilled Serbia in Switzerland.
Chile wanted to use the friendly match in Switzerland to return back to winning ways following recent poor form in the qualification campaign for the 2014 World Cup. The national team lost three consecutive matches to Colombia, Ecuador and Argentina, which caused Chile to fall outside of FIFA’s top 20.
The Serbians made a far brighter start to the game and looked comfortable in possession as they carved out a number of half-chances. Chile, on the other hand, proved sloppy with the ball and was unable to string passes together with Serbian pressure successfully breaking up play.
As Chile started to work its way back into the game without creating clear chances, star player Alexis Sánchez was forced off with an injury after just 20 minutes, with Manchester United’s summer signing Angelo Henríquez in his place.
Two minutes after the substitution, Serbia took the lead after Lazar Markovi? showed more determination than the Chilean defense to head in a cross following nice link-up play from Serbia.
Chile closed the first half well but again had nothing to show for its efforts apart from a few speculative long-range attempts.
Just two minutes into the restart, Serbia doubled its lead. This time, Filip Dordevic was the scorer, capping off a fine team move with a confidently taken finish past the hapless and increasingly exposed Miguel Pinto in goal.
With a two-goal cushion to sit on, the Serbians were able to drop back a little deeper and soak up Chilean pressure. While this allowed Chile some control of possession, the team never looked too likely to score. With Chile pouring more and more men forward in search of a route back into the game, Serbia capitalized on the hour mark with a rapid counter attack.
Picking up possession in its own half, Serbia rapidly turned defense into attack, and against a flat footed Chilean defense, Filip Duricic latched onto the ball in the box and squeezed it past Pinto to score his team’s third goal.
Things went from bad to worse for Chile 10 minutes from time as Arturo Vidal showed his frustrations and petulant side with a wild lunge from behind to earn himself a straight red card.
Despite the red card, Chile looked more dangerous than it had all game with 11 men, and Henríquez headed in his team’s consolation goal three minutes from time.
By Tom Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Copyright 2012 - The Santiago Times