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23 June 1998 Group B Nantes - Stade de La Beaujoire
Chile made it into the last sixteen of France 98 thanks in part, to Italy's victory over Austria. With the outcome of Group B finely poised, Nelson Acosta's side knew that a victory over Cameroon was required to be sure of progression - providing the Austrians didn't beat the Italians by a greater margin. The match set off at a frenetic pace with the South Americans confined to their own half for much of the first ten minutes. Cameroon pressed for the early score to fire their own dreams of progression. However, with only their second real attack and the subsequent corner, the Chilean strikeforce showed why they become the men to watch. First a header from Zamorano and then the follow-up shot from Reyes forced Cameroon 'keeper Songo'o into smart saves. Happy to let the Africans play with the ball in midfield, Chile, in the form of Zamorano, Sierra and Salas always looked threatening on the break. Then, after 20 minutes, Song who had already been booked for a rash challenge in the eighth minute, brought down Zamorano to concede a free-kick in the perfect position for Jose Sierra's left foot. The veteran striker made no mistake with an exquisitely placed effort which crept in, under Songo'o's crossbar. The game raced from end to end, with both sides having good scoring opportunities. In the 35th minute, Oman Biyick, the Cameroon captain did get the ball in the net but was adjudged to have been offside. In the next minute he brought a stunning one handed save from 'keeper Tapia with a strike from close range. For the last five minutes of the half, Claude Leroy's side were encamped in Chile's penalty area but they were unable to capitalise with a goal. Both sides came out for the restart unchanged, but also in the knowledge that the other game in the group was goalless. If that was to remain, Chile needed only the draw to progress and they started the half as they meant to go on, protecting their lead. For Cameroon, all was left to play for, victory and it would be they who progressed, but when after 52 minutes Song was red carded for a challenge on Salas, the dream had all but disappeared. Or had it? Four minutes later, after a quick free-kick, Joseph Ndo floated in the perfect cross for Patrick Mboma to head home and level the scores. With over half an hour remaining, the nerves of the Chilean team began to show. Oman Biyick again had the ball in Tapia's net, but this time his striking partner was harshly adjudged to have committed an offence when playing the ball through. With that let off, the match became more physical and Chile picked up a series of bookings, ruling out a number of key players from the next round, Parraguez, Rojas and Villarroel among them. As the ninety minutes neared their end, the Chileans were content to sit back and soak up the pressure, occasionally hitting Cameroon on the break. And when African substitute, Etame was red carded after a two-footed tackle in the 89th minute, the nine men of Cameroon must have known that their chance had gone. Chile, who have never won a match in the World Cup finals outside of their own country, progressed to the second stage for the first time in 36 years thanks to three draws in the group stage and must now face favourites Brazil in Paris for a place in the quarter-finals.

(1-0) Sierra (21). Rigobert Song was deemed to have fouled Zamarano four yards out from the penalty area to the right of goal, Jose Sierra stepped up to place his precise left-footed free-kick over the wall and into the top corner of the net giving 'keeper Songo'o no chance.

(1-1) Mboma (57). 'Keeper Songo'o took a quick free-kick from the Cameroon penalty area and the ball was worked down the right side, Joseph Ndo sent in a deep cross for Patrick Mboma, who outjumped defender Reyes, before directing his header into the back of the net from six yards.

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