Chile 'keeper seeks record

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:39 AM ET

The sea of chanting, flag-waving South American boosters shoehorned into National Soccer Stadium tonight will be a far cry from the sometimes passive NHL crowds Jason Spezza is accustomed to playing in front of.

But the Ottawa Senators star also will notice there are some distinct similarities between the two sports when he takes his seat for the much anticipated under-20 World Cup semi-final between Argentina and Chile.

Much like in hockey, good goalkeeping can often smother a lethal offence in the so-called "Beautiful Game."

That's what the players on the Chile squad are hoping, anyway, given the hot streak goalie Cristopher Toselli is on right now.

Toselli has gone 480 minutes without conceding a goal and needs to blank Argentina for just five minutes in order to break the tournament record set by Brazil legend Claudio Taffarel back in 1985.

Attempting to solve Toselli will be a high-powered Argentina team led up front by sniper Sergio Aguero, who entered play yesterday as the joint-leader in tournament scoring with five goals.

CONSERVATIVE APPROCH

After playing to a scoreless deadlock through regulation, Chile scored four goals in 30 minutes of extra time en route to a 4-0 victory over Nigeria in the quarter-finals, paving their way into the Final Four.

But Aguero expects a much more conservative approach from his South American rivals when the teams take the pitch tonight.

"We're not going to underestimate Chile, who has performed very well at this tournament," Aguero said. "But I don't think they are going to be as attack-minded against us as they were against Nigeria. They'll be a bit more cautious.

"Even so, I'm not concerned because I've got faith in our ability and attacking prowess."

Chile has never won a semi-final in four FIFA competitions. That's a far cry from the Argentinians, who have reached the Final Four in seven of the past eight U-20 tournaments.

Argentina, which advanced thanks to a 1-0 defeat of Mexico in the quarters, is expected to be without injured midfielder Damian Escudero, who is nursing a muscle ailment. Chile, meanwhile, will be missing Christian Sepulveda, who picked up two yellow cards.


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