As Jean Beausejour wheeled away after his sweetly struck drive nestled in the bottom corner of the Australian net, there was a little more to the winger's celebrations than usual – and all because he had been there before.
The stoppage-time goal not only sealed the South Americans' 3-1 win to kick-start their Brazil 2014, it also wrote his name into the history books as the first Chilean to score in two different FIFA World Cup tournaments, having scored in the opening game of South Africa 2010 too. “I'm very happy to have achieved that. It's an amazing sensation I'm feeling right now,” the Wigan Athletic wide-man exclusively told FIFA.com.
While his winner against Honduras four years ago re-announced them on the world stage, today's goal capped off an important but difficult win, against a resolute Australia side. But Beausejour knows the first part of Chile's plans are only half done. “The most important thing was the victory for the team, but our main focus is getting out of the group and at the moment we need another win to get into the last 16.”
They need to win their next game. At the last World Cup Spain lost against Switzerland in their opening game, now it's the same.
During the latter stages of the game Chile were visibly tiring, with their opponents looking odds-on to score in the second-half. La Roja defender Gonzalo Jara was well aware of the important of making a good start in Cuiaba, but knows they have more left in the tank. “We needed to win the first game. It was a very important three points, we know we have a very difficult group,” he told FIFA.com.
“We can play much better. In the second half it was really, really hard after you've been playing in 30 degrees. They have a really good team. They play with wingers, they put every single ball into the box and they have a really good player in Tim Cahill.”
Next up in Group C is a Spain side who will no doubt be licking their wounds following their 5-1 humbling at the hands of the Netherlands, and Jara knows they will be arriving in Rio with one thing on their mind. “They need to win their next game,” he said with a matter-of-fact look across his face.
“At the last World Cup Spain lost against Switzerland in their opening game, now it's the same. It's really difficult to face Spain, but we've played many friendly games against them, we know their tactics, we know their football.”
A victory there would all but guarantee a last 16 spot – the same stage they reached under Marcelo Bielsa in South Africa. But, as Beausejour headed for the team bus and their return flight, he gave a hint that he believes this side can surpass that achievement. “In some ways [the two sides] are very similar, but this team has more quality, purely because we now have an even greater amount of experience.” That experience will no doubt be tested to its very limits, with Soccer City's two finalists from four years ago lying in wait.