They're undaunted

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:18 PM ET

They lost their last game, their best player and an opportunity to stay out East.

Yet, Portugal is undaunted heading into their FIFA Under-20 World Cup quarter-final game against Chile tonight (5:45 p.m.) at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton.

The two-time tournament champions know they are the underdogs heading into the match but believe their chances of advancing to the next round are just as good as the talented Chileans.

"There is no team that likes to lose," said Portugal's head coach Bruno Henrique Prata yesterday. "We also don't like to lose. We're not happy that we lost our last game or the game before that. Right now the team has recuperated psychologically and (tonight) we'll be in good condition."

Things started well enough for Portugal in the tournament, they defeated New Zealand 2-0 in their first match in Toronto. But then Portugal lost to Mexico 2-1 in their second match and fell to Gambia in their final game by the same scoreline.

They made it to the second round of the tournament by virtue of being one of the four best third-place teams.

Unlike Portugal, Chile cruised through the first round of the tournament with a pair of impressive wins over Canada and Congo and a hard-fought tie with Austria.

Chile finished first in their group, scored six goals and did not concede one. Yet despite an impressive first round, Chile knows they drew a tough opponent in Portugal for their second-round game.

Portugal is taking part in their seventh Under-20 World Cup. They won the event in 1989 and again in 1991.

"That's going to be a very tough game, our toughest game yet," said Chilean striker Nicolas Media. "Portugal is a very good team with a lot of talented players that are very good on the ball, perhaps unlike a couple of the other teams we've played so far.

"It doesn't matter at all that we finished first in our group and they finished third. At this stage it doesn't matter. These games are totally different. Now it's lose and go home."

Making matters more difficult for the Portuguese is the fact they lost their top player in Bruno Gama. The star striker who was on loan to Sporting Braga last season from FC Porto, broke a bone in his foot during Portugal's 2-1 loss to Gambia in Montreal. The 19-year-old, who scored two goals in the tournament prior to the injury, was sent home.

Chile has their own injury concern with captain Carlos Carmona, who was substituted early into the final group match against Austria with a suspected torn hamstring. But further medical examinations revealed there was no tear and Carmona is expected back if Chile advances.


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