Spain learned the lesson of Italy and France. But Chile’s still alive, and South America keeps on rolling.
With Spain staring at an early exit from the World Cup, David Villa and Andres Iniesta each scored, and the Spanish beat Chile, 2-1, on Friday in Pretoria, South Africa. The result sends both teams on to the round of 16.
In a tournament that has already sent 2006 finalists Italy and France home, Spain was another upset victim – losing to Switzerland in the opener. That set up a critical final group match.
Villa got his goal on a shot from 45 yards out in the 24th minute, when goalkeeper Claudio Bravo came out of his area and cleared a ball straight to the Spain striker.
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“David’s goal was very important because it occurred at a time when it was very uncomfortable for us,” Iniesta said. “After the goal, we felt more comfortable on the pitch.”
Iniesta doubled the advantage by beating Bravo with a right-footed shot from the edge of the area in the 37th, with Marco Estrada ejected after collecting his second yellow card on the play.
“It was even until the ejection,” Chile coach Marcelo Bielsa said. “We never thought we were better than Spain, though we could compete with Spain on equal footing. But from the 40th minute, the match changed its complexion entirely.”
Chile didn’t back down, though, pressing and scoring on substitute Rodrigo Millar’s deflected shot in the 47th.
Spain finished at the top of Group H with six points and will play Portugal in the next round. Chile was second and will play Brazil.
Chile was the first South American team to lose a match at the World Cup.
Switzerland 0, Honduras 0: The draw in Bloemfontein knocked out both teams.
The draw ended a Swiss run in South Africa that started with a 1-0 upset win over European champion Spain. But Switzerland then lost, 1-0, to Chile, and couldn’t muster a goal against winless Honduras.
Brazil 0, Portugal 0: Portugal reached the second round as two of soccer’s most powerful offenses couldn’t score in Durban.
Brazil had already secured advancement and won Group G with seven points, two more than Portugal.
The result kept alive a 19-match unbeaten streak for Portugal, which hasn’t lost since a 6-2 defeat at Brazil in a 2008 friendly.
Ivory Coast 3, North Korea 0: Yaya Toure, Koffi Romaric N’Dri and Salomon Kalou scored for Ivory Coast in Nelspruit, but the Elephants didn’t advance.
Ivory Coast started the match needing a big win and a Portugal loss to Brazil to have a chance of moving on.
North Korea lost all three matches, giving up 12 goals and scoring just one.