Exciting Chile outclass Honduras 1-0

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

NELSPRUIT - Favoured Chile thoroughly dominated Honduras 1-0 Wednesday, notching their first World Cup victory in 48 years.

Constantly on the attack, La Roja easily could have won by a far higher score but squandered a bundle of golden opportunities in the teams’ Group H opener at Mbombels Stadium in the north-east city of Nelspruit.

Forward Jean Beausejour scored the lone goal in the 34th minute when he took a cross by midfielder Jorge Valdiva near the goalmouth and hammered it in.

Beausejour was named Man of the Match.

Injury-weakened Honduras, playing in only their second World Cup, had to do without the services of top striker David Suazo.

Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez gave Los Catrachos’ defenders fits all afternoon but failed to put the ball in the net. He also lost the ball a couple of times when he got a bit too fancy with his footwork.

Sanchez had a great chance to score in the 61th minute but fired just left of the post. He also had shots blocked in the 44th and 45th minutes.

A cracking save by Honduran keeper Noel Valladares in the 65th minute stopped a powerful header at point-blank range by Chilean defender Waldo Ponce.

The South Americans, making their first World Cup appearance since France 1998, had not won a World Cup match since defeating Yugoslavia to finish third as hosts of the 1962 tournament.

They finished second only to Brazil in the qualifying competition.

The sole previous World Cup appearance by Honduras was Spain 1982, when it drew two matches - one of them a stunner against Spain - and lost one before crashing out of the tournament.

Their top scorer in qualifying, 36-year-old forward Carlos Pavon, started but was spelled in the 60th minute by Georgie Welcome.

Group H’s prohibitive favourite, European champions Spain, was to play Switzerland later in the day.

will not be displayed