MOSCOW: Chile coach Juan Antonio Pizzi hopes Charles Aranguiz will be fit for Wednesday’s (Thursday in Manila) Confederations Cup semifinals against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal after the midfield enforcer suffered a knock against Australia.
A hard challenge from Socceroos veteran Tim Cahill clattered Aranguiz, who had to be substituted at half-time of Sunday’s 1-1 draw in Moscow.
The result meant Chile finish runners-up in Group B to face Euro 2016 winners Portugal in Kazan for a place in Sunday’s Confed Cup final against either Mexico or Germany who meet on Thursday in Sochi.
Pizzi hopes to have the experienced Aranguiz, 28, fit to partner Arturo Vidal in Chile’s defensive midfield core which helped win the Copa America title last year.
“He was in a bit of pain and we hope he will be able to recover, but like his team-mates he is strong, he wants to play,” said Pizzi.
If fit, Aranguiz faces a busy night at the Kazan Arena trying to ensure Ronaldo has a quiet night with the Real Madrid star having won man-of-the-match awards in all three of Portugal’s games so far in Russia.
Pizzi says the south Americans can hold their own against Fernando Santos-coached Portugal.
“They are a very difficult opponent,” said Pizzi.
“It is hard to win the Euro, which includes many of the best teams in the world, and they have the world’s best player.
“They have a coach who has vast experience and knows the team very well.
“But it’s going to be difficult to play against us too, we’ll go toe-to-toe and try to win.”