Portugal join Brazil, Spain and Chile in last 16 of World CupBy Simon Haydon, AP
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Spain, Portugal, Chile, Brazil advance
JOHANNESBURG — A 0-0 draw worked well for Portugal and destroyed Switzerland’s chances at the World Cup.
Portugal joined Brazil in the round of 16 on Friday after the two teams played a bad-tempered and often listless game. The top-ranked Brazilians won Group G and No. 3 Portugal finished second.
The Swiss were far less fortunate after their nil-nil match with Honduras. Their inability to score cost them advancing, with European champion Spain, ranked second in the world, taking Group H thanks to a 2-1 victory over Chile. The Chileans grabbed second place.
All five South American nations moved on, the first time that’s happened for the continent.
In the other match Friday, Ivory Coast shut out North Korea 3-0.
The second round matchups have Uruguay vs. South Korea at Port Elizabeth and the United States vs. Ghana at Rustenburg on Saturday; Germany vs. England at Bloemfontein and Argentina vs. Mexico at Johannesburg on Sunday; Netherlands vs. Slovakia at Durban and Brazil vs. Chile at Johannesburg on Monday; and Paraguay vs. Japan at Pretoria and Spain vs. Portugal at Cape Town on Tuesday.
Seven players received yellow cards in the first half Of Brazil-Portugal at Durban. Both teams calmed down and settled for the draw.
Brazil was not taking any responsibility for the tie, saying Portugal’s defensive setup prevented the much-anticipated match from being a spectacle.
“It’s really boring when we have to play against an opponent with 11 players at the back, only trying to draw,” Brazil striker Luis Fabiano said.
Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz said his side “advanced on its own merit and now we have to start thinking about our next matches.”
David Villa and Andres Iniesta scored a goal each to help Spain beat 10-man Chile 2-1 at Pretoria. Villa scored a spectacular goal from 45 yards in the 24th minute. He ran on to a loose ball and curled a left-footed shot into an open net after goalkeeper Claudio Bravo rushed out of the area to clear the ball.
“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.”
Marco Estrada was ejected after being carded for a second time during the buildup to the second goal.
“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.”
Ivory Coast beat North Korea on goals by Yaya Toure, Koffi Romaric N’Dri and Salomon Kalou. North Korea finished a distant last in Group G, clearly outclassed by its opponents, scoring just once and allowing 12 goals. Hopes of a repeat of its famous performance in 1966, when it beat Italy, faded quickly.
The repercussions from defending champion Italy’s shocking early exit were felt Friday. Italian soccer federation president Giancarlo Abete called for structural reform of the game at home. Captain Fabio Cannavaro, 36, announced his international retirement.
“We all know the importance of football in our country and we’ve disappointed tens of millions of fans,” Abete said Friday. “We have to be realists. These are the facts. We need to reflect on the structural crisis of Italian football.”
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