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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

FIFA U-17 World Cup: Chile team better prepared against Brazil, says Antonio Diaz

Chile forward Antonio Diaz has said Chile are better prepared this time as they face a potential FIFA U-17 World Cup round of 16 clash against Brazil, against whom they lost 5-0 in the final of the South American Championships.

fifa-u17-world-cup-2017 Updated: Oct 04, 2017 12:02 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Chile’s football team visited Mother House in Kolkata as they gear up for the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Chile’s football team visited Mother House in Kolkata as they gear up for the FIFA U-17 World Cup.(Chile U-17 Team)

By the time Antonio Diaz ran in as a second-half substitute in the final of the South American championships, Chile were down 0-2 against Brazil and facing the heat big time. (FIFA U-17 World Cup SCHEDULE)

No wonder that the forward described that 0-5 defeat in Rancagua in central Chile as “being complicated.” Speaking before training here on Tuesday evening, Diaz though followed that up with “we are ready to play against Brazil this time.”

To that end, Diaz said Chile are working at fine-tuning “a few things on the pitch between now and Sunday.” That is when they kick-off their FIFA U-17 World Cup campaign in group F against England here in conditions that are markedly different from the weather back home but Diaz said they have come prepared for it.

Chile could meet Brazil in the FIFA U-17 World Cup round of 16 in Kochi if they qualify as one of the best third-placed teams and the South American champions top group D.

And given that the teams have some history at the senior level with Roberto Rojas and Chile being banned for faking an injury at the Maracana in 1989 to the La Roja nearly eliminating Brazil in the pre-quarter final of the 2014 World Cup that could be some match.

“Brazil though were at another level in that tournament,” said Chilean journalist Eugenio Salinas who is here and was in Rancagua.

Time will tell whether Chile will get out of the group but defender Nicolas Aravena did say that England and Mexico were the two toughest teams they would face. This, as Iraq, the fourth team in group F, were walking to their team bus after training.

Aravena, who stayed on the bench in the final on March 19, took to serious football only five years ago when he was 12. “I found I was quite good at it,” he said, speaking through an interpreter. As dusk set in on Tuesday evening, he was talking about Chile’s preparation for the World Cup right down to their social media protocol. “Two hours is what we are allowed every day,” he said.

Visit to Mother House

The Chile team visited Mother House where Mother Teresa is laid to rest on Tuesday.

“They went to the Mother Teresa house this morning,” a source close to the Chile squad said on the sidelines of a practice session here.

Since landing here two days ago, the 2017 U-17 South American runners-up practiced on consecutive days under floodlights.

First Published: Oct 03, 2017 21:13 IST

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