Senin, 21 Juni 2010

Group H: Chile go top, Spain return to winning ways

Group H after the opening day shock is wide open and there are chances for all sides.

(to be updated after the second game)

Chile 1-0 (0-0) Switzerland
Goals: 1-0 Mark Gonzalez (75').

Chile overcame ten men Switzerland with a lone goal victory at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. And once more there was a questionable expulsion had its influence on the game.

Both sides in the first half played like sides who knew that a win today could be a big step towards a pre-quarterfinal place, but it didn't result in good football as it meant loads of midfield action and numerous fouls which didn't allow the game to gain any pace. And in the 31st minute Switzerland's Valon Behrami was send off by referee Khalil Ibrahim Al-Ghamdi from Saudi Arabia for hitting out at Chile's Arturo Vidal, who goes down as if he had been terribly hit. One of numerous cards the referee handed out without need. But Chile couldn't utilise their one man more in the first session as it ended goalless.

After the break Chile upped their tempo and it would cause problems for the Swiss. Chile scored in the 49th minute through Alexis Sanchez, but he was offside and the goal was disallowed. A few minutes later Sanchez should have given Chile the lead, but Diego Benaglio and Steve von Bergen deny them the lead once more. But Chile score the winner in the 75th minute as Estaban Paredas send the ball across to Mark Gonzalez who headed home the ball, but it was earlier offside so the goal should have never been given. Chile thereafter could have sealed their win, but they couldn't seal the match and Switzerland nearly got the equaliser at the end, but substitute Eren Derdiyok's shot went just wide of the goal.

Spain 2-0 (1-0) Honduras
Goals: 1-0,2-0 David Villa (17',51').

Spain returned to winning ways with a 2-0 win against a weak Honduras at the Ellis Park in Johannesburg. David Villa was hero and villain in one as he scored both the goals, missed a penalty and hit out at an Honduran defender which should have resulted in a red card.

Spain control the game from the beginning, but after the loss against Switzerland the team looks nervous and isn't able to play its free flowing football. Honduras is ultra-defensive and are never in the situation that they could bother the Spanish defence, while Spain test the Honduran goal before David Villa scores in the 17th minute with a beauty of a goal. Villa himself moves with the ball into the centre from the left and lets fly a shot which Honduran keeper Noel Valladares can get his finger tips to, but the ball flies into the goal. Spain thereafter could double the lead but Xavi and especially Fernando Torres can't score of their chances. Then David Villa is lucky not to be send off. The Valencia striker before a corner has his hand in the face of a Honduran defender, who goes down but the incidence is not seen by the Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura.

Things don't really change after the break though Honduras are more attacking minded after their substitutions, but this gives more space for Spain who double their lead once more through David Villa in the 51st minute. In the 62nd minute Emilio Izaguirre brought down Jesus Navas, but David Villa puts the ball wide from the resultant penalty. Thereafter Spain were to playful, trying to play the ball into the goal, but this would not happen tonight. Maybe this will haunt the Spaniards as they could have demolished Honduras and strengthened their case with a better goal difference to move on from their group.

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