World Cup 2010 - Chile finally end barren streak

Wed, 16 Jun 14:23:00 2010

An impressive Chile side defeated Honduras 1-0 in the opening game of World Cup Group H at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.

- 0

Jean Beausejour scored the only goal of the game in the 34th minute in a match that was more one-sided than the scoreline suggests.

Beausejour rounded off a splendid move that was typical of Chile's play. A neat pass from Matias Fernandez inside the full-back was crossed by marauding right-back Mauricio Isla and the ball deflected off Honduras defender Sergio Mendoza before coming back off the left-footed forward and nestling in the net.

The win came on the 48th anniversary of Chile's last World Cup victory when they beat Yugoslavia in the third-place play-off while hosting the 1962 tournament.

Chile dominated throughout and signalled their intent early on. A splendid 30-yard curling free-kick from Fernandez was just a whisker over the crossbar and a viciously swerving shot from all of 35 yards from Arturo Vidal was only handled by Honduras keeper Noel Valladares at the second attempt.

Alexis Sanchez was really bright in attack and he squared to Jorge Valdivia whose goalbound strike from the edge of the area was deflected. The resulting corner dropped to the Udinese striker on the edge of the penalty area but he lost his footing and the ball looped over the top.

Vidal then put a free header from 12 yards over the top. After Chile made the breakthrough they could have added a second, a vital sliding tackle from Osman Chavez preventing Sanchez from a sight of goal before the break.

Sanchez, linked with a move to one of Europe's top clubs, also saw a shot hit the left arm of Wigan's Maynor Figueroa in the penalty area as Honduras, contesting their first World Cup match in 28 years, were restricted to long-range efforts in the opening period.

Carlos Pavon scuffed a shot wide of the post and Roger Espinoza saw his 25-yard left-footed effort deflected off a Chile head while Ramon Nunez leant back on one attempt and saw a free-kick comfortably tipped over by Claudio Bravo.

They had a couple of half shouts for penalties after the break when Edgard Alvarez went down under a sliding challenge from Gary Medel and later when a corner hit the forearm of Waldo Ponce in the area.

But referee Eddy Maillet from the Seychelles seemed to get both decisions right and Chile should have won by a far greater margin.

Ponce was the biggest culprit when Valladares produced the save of the tournament by diving full length to his right to push away a header from three yards after Vidal had headed a free-kick invitingly across goal.

Figueroa made two vital saving challenges while Sanchez should have scored the goal that his performance deserved only to drag his shot past the far post.

Honduras, in their fourth World Cup match after their debut in 1982 where they went out in the group stages, had a rare sight of goal late on but sub Georgie Welcome shot wide as Chile ended their 13-match winless streak at the World Cup finals.

Match Facts

Honduras v Chile

Goals 0-1

1st Half Goals 0-1

Shots on Target 1-5

Shots off Target 3-12

Blocked Shots 3-5

Corners 4-6

Fouls 15-21

Offsides 2-5

Yellow Cards 1-2

Red Cards 0-0

Passing Success 63.3%-80%

Tackles 25%-23%

Tackles Success 68%-65.2%

Possession 35.9%-64.1%

Territorial Advantage 46.9%-53.1%

Lee Walker / Eurosport

Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account