Chile is leading Australia 2-1 at halftime of their World Cup opening round match in Brazil after two quick strike from Alexis Sanchez and Jorge Valdivia. Tim Cahill’s headed goal brought Australia back into the game.
Sanchez took advantage of confusion among Australian defenders and scored in the 12th minute in Cuiaba. Chile got another two minutes later as the defenders chased the ball and Sanchez passed it back for Valdivia, who placed it over goalkeeper Mat Ryan.
Cahill got the Australians back into the match by outjumping Gary Medel and forcing his header past Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo in the 35th minute. In two previous matches against South American opposition in earlier World Cups, Australia has failed to score. Cahill has four of the Socceroos’ nine World Cup goals.
In the other group B game, the Netherlands rallied from a goal down to hand defending champion Spain a 5-1 mauling.
In a rematch of the 2010 final, which Spain won 1-0, Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben each scored two goals for the Dutch, with Stefan de Vrij adding the other. Xabi Alonso had given Spain the lead with a penalty kick in the first half.
In a group A match today, Mexico beat Cameroon 1-0 on Oribe Peralta’s second-half goal.
Peralta was first to the ball in a goal-mouth scramble and slammed home a left-footed shot in the 61st minute in Natal, Brazil. In the 90th minute, Cameroon’s Benjamin Moukandjo had a chance to tie the match with a header, but Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was able to stop it with a diving save in the rain.
In the 10th minute, Mexico’s Giovani Dos Santos volleyed in a shot and was ruled offside. Twenty minutes later, he headed a goal in from a corner and was again ruled offside, incorrectly, as the ball had come off the head of a Cameroon defender before reaching the Mexican.
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