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World Cup Recap - Chile vs. Spain



(Friday, June 25th)

Final Score: Spain 2, Chile 1

Pretoria, South Africa (Sports Network) - Spain used first-half goals from David Villa and Andres Iniesta to down Chile, 2-1, at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Friday in the final Group H match for both teams.

Villa opened the scoring after 24 minutes before Iniesta tallied a second goal 13 minutes later. Chile's Marco Estrada also received a red card in the build up to Iniesta's goal, but the South Americans pulled a goal back early in the second half through substitute Rodrigo Millar.

The result leaves both teams level on six points, with Spain winning the group based on goal difference, while Chile also advances despite the loss as Switzerland was held to a 0-0 draw by Honduras in the group's other match, leaving the Swiss two points back.

Spain will now face Portugal on Tuesday in the round of 16, while Chile meets Brazil on Monday.

"After losing against Switzerland we knew it was going to be tough," Spain's Villa said. "We were cruising at 2-0 today but they shocked us a bit when they made it 2-1. But the result was good enough for both teams. We've lifted a weight off our shoulders. We were focused and went into the game determined to win. Football has been a bit unfair on us given the way we play, but you gain strength from adversity and we're first in the group. I want to keep scoring goals and helping the team."

Chile was able to take the game to Spain in the opening 15 minutes and it created a good chance when Jean Beausejour pulled a cross back for Mark Gonzalez, who was left alone at the far post but slipped as he reached for the ball, wasting a great opportunity.

Spain then received a bit of good fortune in the 24th minute when a long ball from the back brought Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo way off his goal line.

Bravo beat Spain's Fernando Torres to the ball, but he cleared it right to Villa, who easily smacked the ball into the empty net from 35 yards.

Chile tried to respond in the 34th minute when a good counter attack allowed Beausejour to get into the penalty area on the left and chip a shot past goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

However, defender Gerard Pique got his foot on the shot to redirect it inches wide of the post.

Torres had an appeal for a penalty kick turned down minutes later when he was knocked over inside the area by Chile's Arturo Vidal, but Spain found a second goal almost right away.

Villa took a pass on the left wing and laid the ball off to Iniesta, who deposited a well-placed shot into the lower-right corner of the goal.

Making matters worse for Chile was the fact that Estrada received a second yellow card for tripping Torres in the build up, despite the fact that the contact appeared to be incidental.

Chile pulled a huge goal back just after halftime as Millar had his shot deflected over the head of Casillas by the leg of Pique from the top of the box, while Spain seemed content to keep hold of its one-goal lead and neither side seemed too interested in changing the score, which benefited both teams.

"I'm pleased to have got the goal and I think we deserved to qualify after what we did in our other games," Millar said. "We've achieved our first objective which was to reach the last 16, but we're not planning to rest on our laurels. Today's game was very strange but it was very even while it was 11 versus 11."

The result also allows all five South American teams in this World Cup to advance, marking the first time it has ever happened.

06/25 23:48:40 ET


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