Agencies- Spain will seek World Cup redemption against Chile on Wednesday with Iker Casillas and his teammates still shaken by their humiliating defeat to the Netherlands.
Spain take on the dark-horse South American side in Rio de Janeiro at 1900 GMT, while Group B leaders the Netherlands look to score more goals against Australia in Porto Alegre at 1600 GMT. Cameroon play Croatia in the third match of the day in Manaus at 2200 GMT.
After their 5-1 hammering by the Dutch on Friday, Spain know only a win will do. Vicente del Bosque’s side will be eliminated if they lose to the Chileans and the Dutch avoid defeat.
“We’ll have to fight one against one,” said star midfielder Andes Iniesta.
Del Bosque has hinted at changes to the team. Goalkeeper and captain Casillas, who took the blame for the defeat, has however been given public support by the coach who insisted the whole team should be scolded.
Striker Fernando Torres hinted that they are ready to give up their usual possession-based game if necessary to get three points. “All that’s important tomorrow is that Spain play and win,” he said.
Chile, who play an aggressive attacking game, will be looking to Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez to put more pressure on whoever starts in goal for Spain.
Coach Jorge Sampaoli has doubts over Juventus midfielder Artur Vidal however.
Van Gaal warns
Dutch coach Louis van Gaal has warned his players they cannot afford to relax against Australia after the brilliant performance against Spain which saw doubles for Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben.
“We have to keep our feet on the ground, we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves. We need to prove our capability to win over Australia,” van Gaal said on the eve of the match.
“We haven’t even made it to the next round yet so anything can happen,” he added.
Australia were praised for their battling performance against Chile, in which they went down 3-1. Their coach Ange Postecoglou has promised a similar attitude against the Dutch.
“There’s a lot at stake for both teams. For us if we don’t get a result it’s the end of our tournament.” said the Socceroos boss.
Defender Ivan Franjic is already forced out through injury and Postecoglou said there could be other changes from the first game.
Cameroon’s clash with Croatia has new importance after Guillermo Ochoa’s heroics secured Mexico a 0-0 draw with Brazil on Tuesday. Group is now open again to whoever can win the match.
Croatia lost 3-1 to Brazil in their first game, Cameroon were beaten 1-0 by Mexico. A win for either would take them within one point of the group leaders.
Cameroon captain Samuel Eto’o said it would take a “miracle” for him to get over a knee injury so he can play. And the Indomitable Lions have won only one of their last 13 games at the World Cup finals with their quarter-finals showing at the 1990 World Cup finals a distant memory.
But coach Volker Finke remains optimistic.
“The state of mind counts and I have trust in this team,” said the German.
Croatia are still outraged by a dubious penalty award against them in the Brazil match. And they have been distracted by pictures of Ivica Olic, Vedran Corluka and Dejan Lovren jumping naked into a swimming pool that were published in the Croatian media.
Croatia playmaker Luka Modric has recovered from a foot injury suffered in the Brazil game and should face Cameroon.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor