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