World Cup Recap - Chile vs. Switzerland|
(Monday, June 21st)
Final Score: Chile 1, Switzerland 0
Port Elizabeth, South Africa (Sports Network) - Mark Gonzalez scored 15
minutes from time as Chile downed 10-man Switzerland, 1-0, on Monday at Nelson
Mandela Bay Stadium to take over the top spot in Group H.
Switzerland set the record for most minutes played at the World Cup without
conceding a goal at 558 minutes during the match, besting Italy's total of
550, despite the fact that midfielder Valon Behrami was sent off in the 31st
The Swiss defended well into the second half with 10 men, but finally cracked
as substitute Esteban Paredes had his cross headed home by Gonzalez at the
"We were completely thrown by the red card. Overall, we let ourselves be
pressed too far back at the start, although we went out there intending to
attack," Swiss defender Steve Von Bergen said. "It was very hard work with ten
men. We're angry at the moment, but we're still in with a great chance,
provided we beat Honduras."
Chile sits atop the group with six points from two games, while Switzerland
has three points and could be joined in second place by either Spain or
Honduras, which play later on Monday after both teams suffered defeats in
their opening matches.
Swiss goalkeeper Diego Benaglio was called into action after 10 minutes when
he parried a shot from Arturo Vidal to the top of the penalty area, where
Carlos Carmona was waiting to rip a powerful shot toward the net that Benaglio
needed to tip past the post.
Chile was the aggressor in the first 30 minutes and they were able to push
even more players forward after Behrami was sent off in the 31st minute for an
elbow on Vidal.
There didn't appear to be a lot of contact, but Behrami received an early
exit, making him the first Swiss player to ever receive a red card at the
Alexis Sanchez was dangerous throughout the match and he threatened before the
break with a shot from 10 yards that was hit right at the goalkeeper.
Sanchez had the ball in the net in the 49th minute after his deflected shot
found its way past Benaglio, but the goal was ruled out because a Chilean
striker was in an offside position in front of the keeper.
The Udinese winger continued to be a handful minutes later and he was denied
by Benaglio after stealing the ball and breaking in on goal.
Finally, Chile found a way through the tight Swiss defense when Paredes dashed
through the middle into the box and rounded the keeper before lobbing a cross
to the back post for Gonzalez to finish off.
"I didn't have a sniff of goal in all our warmup matches, but it's fallen to
me to score at the tournament itself, which is unbelievable," Gonzalez said.
"It was a very difficult game, even after they went down to ten men, because
Switzerland know all about shutting up shop at the back. We needed bags of
Paredes could have put the game away on two occasions, but he was wasteful,
allowing Switzerland to have one final chance to equalize in the dying
A clever backheel from Albert Bunjaku left Eren Derdiyok alone at the penalty
spot with just goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to beat. However, the striker pulled
his shot wide, handing three vital points to Chile.
06/21 15:36:00 ET