Chile (2-0-0) vs. Netherlands (2-0-0), Noon (ET)
06/23/2014 8:08 AM
06/23/2014 8:12 AM
Sao Paulo, Brazil (SportsNetwork.com) - With the Netherlands and Chile already assured spots in the round of 16, the two nations will battle for seeding when they meet at the Arena Corinthians on Monday.
Both sides have been perfect in World Cup play thus far, taking six points from their two matches to clinch places in the knockout round.
The Netherlands opened the tournament with a resounding 5-1 victory over reigning world champion Spain and followed the momentous win with a 3-2 defeat of Australia.
Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben have started the tournament in sublime form, scoring three goals apiece to provide the Dutch with a potent attack that keeps them in any match.
And Holland has needed their goals given that the European nation has fallen behind in both of their matches thus far. The Dutch conceded the opener against Spain but netted five unanswered goals to make an emphatic statement.
But that statement was slightly hushed when Louis van Gaal's men found themselves trailing in the second half against Australia at the Estadio Beira- Rio on Wednesday. Even though the Dutch came back to get the win, Robben was adamant that they cannot afford to keep digging themselves into holes.
"The first half, we just played really bad," Robben told Dutch website nieuws.nl. "We were just sleeping. We made a lot of mistakes in possession. Actually, everything just went wrong, we weren't in the game."
There will be plenty of incentive for the Dutch to show up in Monday's match at the Arena Corinthians as the winner will likely avoid facing Brazil in the round of 16.
Both nations faced the Brazilians in the 2010 World Cup. Chile fell to the five-time world champions in a humbling 3-0 defeat in the round of 16, but the Dutch managed to beat them in the next round en route to a second-place finish in the tournament.
But according to midfielder Arturo Vidal, the Chileans must simply remain focused on playing well instead of concerning themselves of which teams they may face further down the road.
"We just want to play against the best teams," Vidal told reporters following Chile's 2-0 victory over Spain at the Maracana on Wednesday. "The Netherlands are a strong team who have won their two matches, but we hope, like today, to get the three points. It's a World Cup. You can come up against anyone. The important thing is to keep playing well and if we can do that, we can go very far."
Chile has not advanced beyond the round of 16 in a World Cup since 1962 when the South American country was bounced in the semifinals by Brazil.
Join the Discussion
The Wichita Eagle is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.