Last time, I wrote to you about Honduras and how they wouldn’t make it far in the World Cup tournament. One of the reasons they won’t be going far is Chile. After finishing second in CONMEBOL qualifying, Chile is a favorite with Spain to go on to the second round. This is a bit surprising to some soccer analysts because it is a bit of a renaissance for Chile after 12 years of being absent from the World Cup finals.
By the way, Slainte Pub in Fells Point opens early, and you can catch Chile vs. Honduras early on June 16. Who needs to work? Come enjoy some good food, great drinks, and lots of soccer analysts fans.
Do you remember the striking duo of “ZaSa”, Zamorano and Salas? No? Neither do I. I mean, I want to say that I remember how they stood up to Italy and Brazil in France 1998, but I really can’t. Yes, they were good, but Chile’s best outing in a World Cup tournament was third place when they hosted. They haven’t really done much since. (Cue the disagreeing comments in 3… 2… 1…)
But now they’re here, and they have shown to be a force to be reckoned with. Chile finished second, besting Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. They were impressive, Scoring 4 on Bolivia, 4 on Colombia, and tying Uruguay in Asuncion. With a few other wins here and there, and a couple of ties here and there, they climbed to near the top of the standings. One could say that, had Brazil not had to qualify for some weird reason, Chile could have ended at the top of CONMEBOL.
Forgotten are the banning from Italy 90 and USA 94. Forgotten are the failures to qualify since 98. The future is now for Chile.
My prediction for Chile in South Africa 2010:
Chile beats Honduras without any problem. Chile then beats Switzerland, just barely since European teams always cause problems for the South Americans, and vice versa. And then they lose to Spain to finish second in the group. They will then face Brazil in the knockout stage and be eliminated after putting up a great fight. (Not even Brazil beats Brazil in the round of 16.)
***”Paquinho” was born and raised in Mexico until age 10, when he came to the States and has been living the dream. When not writing about soccer, you can find him rambling on about infectious diseases.***