Cahill's offside moment
Tim Cahill was close to evening the score with Chile, but his goal in the second half was immediately disqualified as he was offside. The South Americans eventually took the match 3-1.PT0M48S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-3a3s1 620 349 June 14, 2014
Socceroos star Tim Cahill believes Australia was the victim of bad refereeing and bad sportsmanship as they succumbed to a 3-1 defeat in their opening World Cup game against Chile in Cuiaba.
After falling 2-0 down in the opening 15 minutes, a Cahill-inspired comeback gave Australia hope of a draw as Chile wilted, only for them to clinch a third goal in injury time.
Tim Cahill protests against his disallowed goal. Photo: Reuters
However, it was the performance of Ivory Coast referee Noumandiez Doue that drew Cahill’s ire, saying Chile were given a succession of favourable decisions.
“As for some of the calls, it was beyond me how we didn’t get some calls,” Cahill said after the match. “They [Chile] were getting a lot in their favour tonight.”
Cahill reckoned one incident where a defender had a fistful of his shirt should have been a clear penalty.
The Socceroos star had a goal ruled out. Photo: Reuters
“We had talks with FIFA officials about any sort of handling on your shirt, where they said it would be dealt with strictly,” he said.
In another incident, involving Chilean left-back Eugenio Mena, Cahill said he was awarded a yellow card when it should have been given the other way.
“In the first-half, there was an incident where the left-back elbowed me and kicked out at me when I was trying to run past him for a cross, and I’ve got the yellow card,” he said. “I called him a cheat and he said “Yes, I’m a cheat, so what?”. That’s not [ethical] gamesmanship.
Chile's Eugenio Mena admitted being a cheat. Photo: Reuters
“I said to [Arturo] Vidal “This is no good, this needs to be out of the game”. If you gain advantages like that, then fair play, but I just wanted to play, I wanted to get to the back post and make my run. He physically tried to stop me, lost the battle, yet I was the one who got the yellow card.”
The 34-year old felt Chile began resorting to physical behaviour as soon as they realised the match was slipping from their grasp.
“They sensed it, everything started turning into grappling, everything they did started to slow the game down and they were getting a lot of free-kicks in their favour,” he said. “It’s fine, because this is a great learning curve for this team and what we’re trying to do.
World Cup 2014: Socceroos v Chile highlights
Chile's Eduardo Vargas is challenged by Australia's Alex Wilkinson. Photo: AP
"We respect Chile, they’re a great team and they’re going to cause Holland and Spain problems but at the same time, I’d love to play them again in the future and it’s good they give us the same respect and can see that we can play football.”
With Australia so close to snatching a point, Cahill was clear in his mind about how the match was lost.
“In the end, it’s disappointing. I thought that we possibly showed them too much respect in the first 15 minutes. Once we realised that we had to get in their faces, and put a bit more pressure on, they started to weather a bit,” he said. “Overall, I’m really proud of the boys and their performance. This time last week we were talking about how we were going to create chances. We created the chances tonight but unfortunately, everything seemed to go their way.
“We didn’t get the rub of the green at all tonight. It’s frustrating because little circumstances in the game could have been different, especially when you’re out there and you can feel that the tide was starting to turn in our favour.”
Cahill’s first-half goal was his trademark, outjumping Gary Medel to head the ball past the goalkeeper after a looping cross from Ivan Franjic.
“With my goal, once I get the ball in that area, I know where I’m putting the ball,” he said. “That was 100 per cent going in and it just felt great because that’s what we needed to kick-start us and to come back to into the game.
“It’s just frustrating because the two goals we conceded were against the run of play and if we’d been in their faces more we possibly could have stopped them.”