Chile see off fellow qualifiers Slovakia

ZILINA, Slovakia - Esteban Paredes scored early in the second half to give Chile a 2-1 friendly win over fellow World Cup qualifiers Slovakia on Tuesday which earned lavish praise from the opposing coach.

"At times it seemed like we were playing Barcelona," Slovakia coach Vladimir Weiss told reporters. "They don't let you get near the ball.

"They are excellent tactically. They are a magnificent team with a magnificent coach (Marcelo Bielsa)."

Tuesday's match suggested Chile were more likely to spring a surprise in next year's finals in South Africa as the home team were often made to look slow and lumbering.

Defender Gonzalo Jara thumped the visitors ahead from close range after nine minutes before Slovakia equalised against the run of play with a header by Stanislav Sestak eight minutes later.



Chile should have gone back in front before halftime and had to wait until the 56th minute before Fabian Orellana's cross found Arturo Vidal at the far post and he headed the ball to Paredes who scored from close range.

Slovakia were second best for 75 minutes but then created a flurry of chances in the last quarter of an hour.

Bielsa was, typically, more downbeat than his opposite number.

"It seemed to me to be a satisfactory performance and the players reached the approved standard," said the former Argentina coach.

"There were situations where I imagined we were going to end up creating more danger to the opposition than we eventually managed to."

Slovakia have qualified for the World Cup finals for the first time as an independent nation while Chile will make their first appearance since 1998.