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Spain tops group; Chile makes South America five for five
by Mike Woitalla, June 25th, 2010 8:52PM
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[GROUP H] A 2-1 win over Chile gave the slow-starting Spaniards first place while Swiss futility against Honduras ensured the Chileans of passage into the second round. Here's what we liked and didn't like about Friday's Group H games. ...

What we liked …

-- Spain’s win over Chile sets up an Iberian round-of-16 clash with Portugal on Tuesday. David Villa scored his third goal of the tournament with a 45-yard strike after Chilean keeper Claudio Bravo left his penalty area to thwart an attack on the wing, only to send his clearance to Villa. Andres Iniesta, whose fitness for this tournament had been in doubt, scored Spain’s second by precisely side-footing a shot into the right lower corner of goal from 17 yards.

-- Chile’s loss to Spain – whle playing with 10 men for 53 minutes -- was the first by a South American team in this tournament, but the Chileans advanced thanks to opening with a pair of wins. All five South American teams are in the second round, and Chile meets one of them, Brazil, on Monday.

-- Honduras joins Algeria as the only teams to leave South Africa without scoring. But it wasn’t for a lack of trying. While eliminating Switzerland, the Catrachos attacked in waves during the second half, constantly sending three to four players into the Swiss penalty area during the end-to-end action that made it a fairly entertaining scoreless tie.

What we didn’t like …

-- Swiss glory was fleeting at this World Cup. Upsetting favorite Spain in the opener, 1-0, seems like ancient history already, because Coach Ottmar Hitzfeld's team failed to score another goal, falling, 1-0, to Chile before its scoreless tie with Honduras on Friday. A 2-0 win over the Honduras would have seen the Swiss through.

-- Seattle Sounders-bound Blaise Nkufo missed two chances on headers to score for the Swiss.

-- Chile’s Marco Estrada was ejected in the 37th minute when he received his second yellow card, for tripping up Fernando Torres during the sequence on which Spain scored anyhow. Estrada’s suspension for the Brazil game isn’t devastating as he was filling in for suspended Carlos Carmona, who will be back.



0 comments
  1. Valerie Metzler
    commented on: June 26, 2010 at 8:20 a.m.
    More teams still in from the Americas than from Europe! I like it!

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