Australian player Tim Cahill today claimed that Chilean defender Gonzalo Jara had admitted to cheating during Australia’s 3-1 loss to Chile in their opening match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
"The left-back kicked out at me when I was trying to run past him for a cross and I pushed him away - and I got the yellow card," Cahill said. "I called him a cheat. And he said 'yes, I'm a cheat, so what'. That is not gamesmanship this needs to be out of the game."
The Socceroos opened their campaign with a nervous display of football as Chile netted 2 goals in three minutes before Cahill, Australia’s most experienced player revived his country’s hopes with a timely header in the 35th minute. Cahill later netted another header which was correctly ruled out for off-side. It was later in the match that Cahill’s claim for a penalty was rejected which both Cahill and Australia’s manager Ange Postecoglou felt was unfair.
"We should have probably been awarded a penalty because the only way they could stop him was by holding on to his shirt," Postecoglou said. "The players are very disappointed because they sensed that the game was there for them and they thought they could get something out of the game," Postecoglou said. "So to walk off and cop that late goal, it's very deflating."
Australia seem to be in even more dire straits as defender Ivan Franjic suffered a left hamstring strain which has ended his World Cup journey while captain Miles Jedinak, Mark Milligan and Tim Cahill were booked and must be careful since another one can bring their World Cup dreams to a halt.