The final 23 man Chilean squad for South Africa is still unknown as Marcelo Bielsa races against the clock with upcoming friendly matches and team adjustments.
Zambia is the next team Chile will play on May 26 in Calama, after which the team will return to the capital prior to leaving for two games, both played on May 30 and with only six hours difference. The two rivals on the day are Ireland and Israel played respectively in Chillan and Concepcion .
After 5 players were axed from the 30 man provisional squad, Bielsa must now release two more before the June 1 deadline.
Whilst most of the team was present throughout the qualifying campaign, fresh names now appear on the squad list, within the Bielsa radar, and certainly in contention. This said, on a live press conference with Radio Cooperativa, Hector Mancilla spoke about a conversation with Marcelo Bielsa, whereby the coach of Chile informed the Toluca striker he was no longer a part of the final World Cup squad - "Then, there was 24..."
With leading South American qualifier goal-scoring machine Humberto Suazo still rested after a shoulder injury suffered during the game between his Real Zaragoza side and Real Madrid in Spain's La Liga, Bielsa will rely on Alexis Sanchez, Esteban Paredes and Jean Beausejour for "La Rojas" offensive duties.
Now Chile focuses on Zambia and their final preparations before aspiring to glory and the ultimate prize awaiting the best team at the World Cup finals in South Africa 2010 - FIFA's "Holy Grail".
The president of the Chilean Football Federation Harold Mayne-Nicholls is yet to confirm which team Chile will play on a send-off macth scheduled for June 4.