Chile gains believers after Spain win

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iol spt pic Chile players celebrate june 19 REUTERS Chile players celebrate after scoring a goal during their Group B match against Spain. Photo: Ricardo Moraes

Rio de Janeiro - Chile started the World Cup as rank outsiders. But by eliminating defending World Cup champion Spain with a 2-0 win on Wednesday and reaching the last 16 - with a game to spare - it suddenly has more believers.

By making the knockout stage it has matched what the team did four years ago under coach Marcelo Bielsa. And most think this version is better than the last one.

A disciple of Bielsa, Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli could top his mentor. He calls it a victory “I'll never forget... to neutralise a team like Spain.”

Chile faces the Netherlands in its last Group B match. Both are into the knockout stage. The question is which team finishes atop the group and whether the second-round opponent is Brazil or Mexico.

Sapa-AP


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