CHILE RECEPTION: Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou (right) and veteran forward Tim Cahill faced tough questions from the Chilean media.
CHILE RECEPTION: Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou (right) and veteran forward Tim Cahill faced tough questions from the Chilean media. SERGEI ILNITSKY

Socceroos plan to play Chile-style football in vital clash

SOCCEROOS coach Ange Postecoglou outlined his game plan to an inquisitive Chilean media on the eve of Australia's do-or-die meeting with the South American champions, revealing his side is going to simply "bombard them with long balls”.

Of course, nothing further could be from the truth. The very idea is anathema to him.

And yet a repeated line of questioning centred around Australia's 'English-style' approach to the game that prompted such an acerbic response - with tongue firmly placed in cheek - perhaps put in to some perspective what he is trying to achieve with the current squad.

And how far he still has to go to alter outside perceptions of the values and quality within the Australian game.

More than once Postecoglou was asked to explain his side's uncultured tactics. His inquisitors clearly hadn't done their homework.

This Socceroos squad obsesses over possession (even to the detriment of penetration, some of his more educated critics contend). It is unlikely Postecoglou's opposite number Jorge Sampaoli's intel is so dated.

Postecoglou, who has worked to turn Australia from artisans into artists, wants his side to be more like Chile. The Australia coach is an unabashed fan. And sees parallels in what Chile has achieved in recent years with his own ambitions.

"They're a very good team and have been for a number of years,” he said.

"Their best players are playing at the highest possible level. And are really committed to a certain style of game. For someone like me that's a real admirable way to go about things.

"I was excited when we got them in the draw. They're the kind of team we want to play because in some form of respect we want to emulate some of their feats.

"They were a small fish in their continent for a while, and decided to change that. We're trying to change that ourselves too.

The match at Moscow's Otkrytiye Arena is a sudden-death tie for Australia with only a two-goal winning margin enough the guarantee progression, but Postecoglou was bullish.

"We wanted to be alive when the third game came around,” he said, "[but] we've made it difficult for ourselves to be fair.

"The beauty of it is for us nothing really changes. Because we try and win every game of football we play, regardless of the opposition, regardless of the circumstances, home or away.

"It's a great opportunity to play against one of the world's best teams, an opportunity to create something special.”

The result of the other group fixture, between Germany and Cameroon could affect what is required.

A one-goal winning margin for the Socceroos would be enough if Cameroon also beats Germany by the odd goal.

Postecoglou, however, will not be trying to keep abreast of developments elsewhere during the game on Monday (1am AEST), saying "I can only watch one movie at once”.

Much attention has focused on Chile's stellar attacking individuals.

Alexis Sachez of Arsenal and Eduardo Vargas form an incredible partnership up front. Arturo Vidal of Bayern Munich pulls the strings in midfield.

With expectations of a semi-final and final to come, Sampaoli may be tempted to rotate his squad, but Tim Cahill, who will reach 100 caps should he feature, is wary of focusing on anything other than the collective when plotting what would be an upset of a result.

"With what they have in their stable, I don't think it matters who plays for them,” Cahill said.

"One of the strongest factors of Chile is their work rate. They defend together as an XI, and they attack together. That's something as a player I admire. Regardless of the individual qualities.

"They're a great team to watch. In my opinion the best team in this Confederations Cup and it's going to be a great test for us.”

For all the positivity within the Socceroos camp, they have so far failed to put a defining stamp on the tournament in Russia.

Postecoglou maintained if they leave after game three in the group stage, it won't be for a lack of intent.

"It's a game we have to win,” he said. "There's no point sitting back and waiting for things to kick in. We're not going to be a team that waits.

"We'll try and match their intensity, match their work rate, match their emphasis on trying to dominate the game and see where that takes us.”