indo-asian news service
Geneva, 10 September
Chile’s national football team captain and goalkeeper Claudio Bravo said the time has come to defeat a rival as high-ranked as Spain in their upcoming match in Geneva Tuesday.
"It’s the right time to face off against the world champions. I hope we can do it. It’s time to defeat such a high-ranking rival. I hope (the match) helps us to grow and to find out where we place. We are very eager to win," Bravo said Monday, reports Xinhua.
Bravo, who plays for Spain’s Real Sociedad, indicated his team was more confident than ever.
"We believe a lot more in our team and we feel we have a different degree of respect in comparison with what we had a few games ago. Teams face us in a different way and that makes you grow and work in a different way," said Bravo.
Chile play Spain in a friendly meant to prepare them for their respective regional qualifying tournaments. So far, Chile, led by coach Jorge Sampaoli, have at least secured a space in the playoffs for a ticket to the 2014 Brazil World Cup.
Argentina lead the South American tournament with 26 points, followed by Colombia (26), Chile (24), Ecuador (21), Uruguay (19), Venezuela (16), Peru (14), Paraguay (11) and Bolivia (10).
The first four teams will automatically advance and the fifth-ranked team will go to playoffs against an Asian team for a chance to play in Brazil.
Bravo said his dream now is to qualify as soon as possible for Brazil.
"You always have dreams and goals to attain. Our next one is to qualify as soon as possible for the World Cup. We are very close and we depend on our game and our results," said Bravo.
The captain also referred to upcoming qualifying matches against Colombia and Ecuador in October.
Torres out: Colombia have suffered a blow ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Uruguay Tuesday with playmaker Macnelly Torres withdrawing from the match due to injury.
Torres was ruled out after scans showed he has not recovered from a leg injury suffered during Colombia’s 1-0 victory over Ecuador last Friday. Colombia’s football federation gave no further details about the injury, reports Xinhua.
Jose Pekerman’s side will also be without left-back Pablo Armero, who is suspended.
Japan 3 – 1 Ghana
South Korea 1 – 2 Croatia
China PR 2 – 0 Malaysia