Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sports News (26.06.02010)


Victorious Spain, Chile into World Cup last 16
PRETORIA: David Villa took advantage of a blunder by goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and also set up an Andres Iniesta goal to give Spain a spot in the World Cup last 16 on Friday with a 2-1 victory over 10-man Chile.

Reigning European champions Spain, trying to avoid joining Italy and France on the World Cup scrapheap after an opening loss to Switzerland, won Group H on two wins and six points, edging Chile on superior goal difference.

The Swiss played a goalless draw with Honduras and fell short on four points.

Spain booked a date with Portugal on Tuesday in a last 16 match at Cape Town while Chile will meet five-time champions Brazil on Monday at Johannesburg's Ellis Park.

"The match against Portugal will not be easy," said Spain coach Vicente del Bosque.

"But we are progressing. Fernando Torres played 60 minutes, Iniesta felt fine. We are in good shape. We are under a lot of pressure but we know this by living in Spain."

The Spaniards went ahead in the 24th minute when Villa scored his third goal of the tournament, matching the overall World Cup scoring lead.

Xabi Alonso launched a long pass upfield to the onrushing Fernando Torres with Bravo racing off his line to reach the ball first.

But the ball deflected into the path of uncovered Villa and the new Barcelona striker chipped it back from 40 yards into the open goal as Chile captain Bravo looked on in horror.

In the 37th minute, Villa set up Iniesta and the Barcelona playmaker scored from just inside the area.

Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez sent off Chile midfielder Marco Estrada seconds after the goal, having seen him trip Torres in the build-up to the goal.

But 10-man Chile refused to quit.

Second-half substitute Rodrigo Millar pulled a goal back in the 47th minute, blasting a shot that deflected off the right knee of defender Gerard Pique and past helpless goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

Chile's Esteban Parades was ruled offside in the penalty area in the 80th minute to doom their last real chance.

The match was physical from the start, a crimson-clad crowd of nearly 42,000 roaring as Spain's Red Fury faced a South American side known as The Red.

Rodriguez made three other bookings against Chile in the first 21 minutes, ensuring defenders Gary Medel and Waldo Ponce will not play against Brazil.

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