Rabu, 16 Juni 2010

Group H: Chile win, Swiss upset Spain

Finally Group H has come into action as the last of the eight groups at this World Cup.

(to be updated after the second game)

Honduras 0-1 (0-1) Chile
Goals: 0-1 Jean Beausejour (34').

Chile beat Honduras 1-0 to score their first World Cup win since 1962 at the Mbombela Stadium in Nespruit. And they did it in style.

Chile showed in the first half why they could be a candidate to surprise everyone at this World Cup. The South Americans allowed the ball to circulate amongst their players and had control of the midfield against a Honduras side which struggled against the pace of their opponents. And deservingly took the lead in the 34th minute through Jean Beausejour after a nice combination. Honduras could have equalised at the stroke of half time with a freekick from Ramon Nunez which was tipped over by Chile keeper Claudio Bravo.

After the break Chile should have consolidated their lead, but the Chileans left many good chances unused while Honduras was just wasn't dangerous enough to threaten the Chilean goal. Around the hour mark the Chileans could have sealed the game but Alexis Sanchez and Waltr Ponce both wasted good opportunities. Towards the end substitute Mark Gonzalez wasted a few good chances.

Spain 0-1 (0-0) Switzerland
Goals: 0-1 Gelson Fernandes (52').

Top favourites Spain were upset by a fighting Switzerland in their opening game of Group H at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. It was the first ever win by a Swiss football team against the Spanish.

Swiss coach Ottmar Hitzfeld continues his impressive caoching career which made him one of the most successful coaches in club football, now he has won his first World Cup match as a coach against a superior opponent.

Spain were in control from the start, but their finishing was either not up to the mark or a Swiss defender or their goalkeeper Diego Benaglio was in the way. The Swiss put in a lot of effort, discipline and passion; which in the end did pay off.

The Spanish weren't as dangerous in front of goal as they would have liked to be and their first big chance was wasted by defender Piqué who failed to beat Benaglio. But the Swiss weakened themselves when Philippe Senderos had to be substituted due to an ankle injury which he sustained while hitting an own team mate. Spain did have a few more half chances, but it remained goalless at the break.

After the break Spain came out with an urge to finally go ahead, but the opposite happened. In the 52nd minute the Swiss on the break went forward Eren Derdiyok got the ball past Iker Casillas, who brought him down but Gelson Fernandes got the ball on the two rebound past Piqué and Casillas into the goal. The Swiss were ahead and the Spaniards where shocked and coach Vicente del Bosque brought on Fernando Torres and Jesus Navas to regroup upfront. The duo would play a big part in the Spanish attack until the end. The best chance was a long range effort by Xabi Alonso in the 71st minute which hit the crossbar. But the Swiss would try once in a while to counter the Spanish pressure and in the 75th minute Eren Derdiyok nearly doubled the lead as his effort hit the post. Spain continued their attack, but couldn't break the Swiss wall which held until the end.

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