SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chile has assembled the best lineup it has ever taken to the World Cup, and has been placed in one of the toughest groups.
Facing defending champion Spain and 2010 finalist Netherlands in Group B, just reaching the knockout round would be considered a major success.
"The margin for error is zero," Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli said. "It's a very complicated group due to the traits of the rivals. Obviously playing against such important European teams, against the last world champion, will be tough."
With world-class players including Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal and Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez, Chile's recent record is impressive. It finished third in South American qualifying, had a draw with Spain and beat England in friendlies, and lost only two of 15 games last year.
A 1-0 loss to Germany in March convinced Sampaoli that his team can contend.
"We can compete against anybody the way we played today," Sampaoli said after the match. "We can have a World Cup performance that Chile deserves."