Chile readies itself for ninth World Cup participation
Santiago (Chile), May 22 (IANS) When Chile plays Australia June 13 at Cuiaba's Pantanal Arena, on the second day of the 2014 Brazil World Cup, it will mark the ninth time the country has competed in football's ultimate championship.
As one of only 13 teams to take part in the first 1930 World Cup, held in Uruguay, Chile has a long competitive history that includes winning third place at the 1962 World Cup, when the tournament was held in Chile, reports Xinhua.
Time has changed since the first World Cup, for which teams didn't qualify but were invited by Uruguay's organising committee.
At that time, Chile formed part of Group A, with Mexico and France, which it defeated, and Argentina, to which it lost, getting eliminated in the first round of the championship ultimately won by Uruguay.
It wasn't until 20 years later that Chile returned to the World Cup games, in Brazil in 1950, again getting eliminated in the first round.
Twelve years after that, Chile won third place as host of the tournament.
In its group, Chile beat Switzerland 3-1 and Italy 2-0, then lost to Germany 0-2, ranking second after the first round. After winning over the Soviet Union (2-1) and Brazil (4-2), it played Yugoslavia for third place, winning 1-0.
Chile fared poorly in subsequent World Cups, proving that the home team advantage can greatly influence the outcome of the tournament.
In this year's World Cup, Chile has a tough battle, going up first against Spain and the Netherlands, the winner and runner-up of the 2010 South Africa World Cup, respectively, and possibly against Brazil in the second round.