With the Seven Consulting International Series against Chile now in the calendar, we take a look at just what the Westfield Matildas are up against.
Chile are one of up-and-comers in South American football. They haven’t missed a Copa America Femenina, one of only two teams to do so, and finished runners-up at the last edition, which secured their qualification for the 2019 FIFA World Cup in France.
ANNOUNCED: Westfield Matildas will play Chile at home over two matches in November
SAINT-ETIENNE: Australia will play the 2019 FIFA World Cup hosts France in October
ON THE MOVE: Where are our Westfield Matildas heading in 2018-19?
With both team preparing to take on their rivals from all over the world next June, let’s take a closer look at what we can expect to see when Chile roll in to Penrith and Newcastle in November.
Chile has only qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup once since the competition began back in 1991, and it’s the upcoming tournament in France next year.
They managed it thanks to their runners-up finish in the Copa America Femenina back in April this year, which matched their best ever finish at the tournament. They ran second at the first ever tournament back in 1991, and finished third in 1995 and 2010.
The history of the Chile national team isn’t as decorated or as extensive as the Matildas. In fact, their first game on the international stage was just 27 years ago in 1991.
The Seven Consulting International Series will be one for the history books though: the first time that Chile and Australia have ever played one another. Chile have a mixed history against sides from Asia: a win, a draw, and a loss.
The last competitive matches which Chile played were back in April’s Copa America Femenina, where Las Chicas de Rojo enjoyed an excellent run of results.
Of the seven matches played, Chile won three, drew three and lost just once. That run included big wins over Argentina,4-0, and Uruguay, 1-0. The loss which handed them second spot was a 3-1 reverse against powerhouse Brazil.
In the ensuing months, Chile have played three friendlies with mixed fortunes. A win and a draw against Costa Rica, followed by a loss to the United States last Saturday morning (AEST).
They’ll play another against the United States on Wednesday midday (AEST) which might garner a few more Aussie eyes.
The talisman of the Chile team is captain Christiane Endler, the 27-year-old goalkeeper who currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain.
The majority of the current Chile squad currently ply their trade in Spain. Yanara Aedo, who has scored four goals for her national team, plays for Valencia and Francisca Lara, who has scored nine times for her country, plays for Sevilla.
One woman to watch is the diminutive Maria Jose Rojas. At just 5’4’’, she may fly under the radar but do not underestimate her ability to smack them in. She does it regularly for both Chile and Japanese club side Orca Kamogawa.
A former goalkeeper who played for a number of clubs throughout South and Central America, Jose Letelier has a good coaching record.
He was in charge of Chilean side Colo Colo for more than five years, winning the Chilean competition on numerous occasions.
Letelier also won the Women’s Copa Libertadores with Colo Colo in 2012, a feat he achieved with the men's side as a player 21 years prior in 1991.
Having led the national side to the FIFA World Cup for the first time in their history, Letelier is a much-liked and popular coach among Chileans.