Honduras v Chile: As it happens
Published 16/06/2010 | 13:00
Commentary from the World Cup 2010 Group H game between Honduras and Chile at the Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
90+2 FULL-TIME. Honduras 0-1 Chile. That's a 1-0 spanking if I've ever seen one. Is this the day, finally, that this World Cup comes to life? Spain up next, South Afica tonight? Not sure. That was great though. Attacking ambition was the stand-out virtue.
88 min: Ponce smashes a free-kick straight at Gonzalez in the Chilean wall. No real signs of a Honduran rally. "Chile are a good long shot, especially looking at them today," email Paul Rodwell. "Before the game you could get 80–1 for them winning the tournament. Well worth a punt." Chile @ 80/1? Or England @ 5/1. I know where most money in this country will go. Mugs.
86 min: Valdivia departs, Mark Gonzalez - last seen being used as a stick with which to beat Rafa Benitez - comes on.
81 min: Substitution, Chile. Pablo Contreras, a defender, replaces Arturo Vidal. Shutters going down? If that's the message Bielsa is trying to send, it fallen on deaf ears. Still all Chile.
78 min: Fabulous to see, Sanchez, wearing 7 on his back, slaughtering the Honduras left back. He's a big fan of the double stepover, but as noted tricky winger Pat Nevin says on 5 live, he always goes right after the trick. Twice in two minutes that creates a chance for Chile, but they're going into the final stages with just that single-goal lead.
75 min: Disallowed! Valdivia taps home, but both he and Sanchez were offside from the cross. Sanchez also handballed in the build-up. Apart from that, cracking goal.
73 min: Isla, the right-back, loves to get forward and fill the space left by Sanchez when he drifts inside. Sanchez sets up Valdivia after another fluent move, but Honduras have enough numbers to block.
68 min: Figueroa, this time, saves Honduras with the last-ditch slide and block. As good as they've been, Chile, they need another.
65 min: Astonishing save from Valladares. Brilliant. Deep free kick from the left is headed back across the six-yard box. Ponce dives and heads goalwards but Valladares makes up the ground and claws it out with a full length dive.
61 min: Chance for Sanchez, but it's wide of the post. Su-perb football, again, from Chile. Sanchez has left the wing and is causing trouble all over the pitch. He can't finish, though, and after he takes the ball under his spell the goal looks certain, but the shot is two feet wide.
58 min: Wonderful. Sub for Honduras. Pavon goes off, and he's replaced by Georgie Welcome. If you don't like that name then you've got no place here. Move on.
55 min: Penalty shout for Sanchez! Palacios with the tackle, and....wow. Seen 'em given, as they say. Nigel Adderley, on the Beeb, has just said exactly that, in fact. Wonderful, driven crossfield pass from Valvidia set up that chance. "Hi Mike" emails Maria Diver. "You got any good excuses to get time off work to watch a couple of half 12 or 3pm games throughout the World Cup?" What's the matter Maria, this blog not good enough for you? Some people...
51 min: More joy down the right from Chile. Honduras are aware of the threat caused by Sanchez, but doing something about it is a different story.
49 min: Sanchez has shown plenty of the good side of Ronaldo already today, but that was the bad side. Too many stepovers, and the moved crawls to end. Goak kick.
46 min: Honduras now playing with two in attack, and that boldness plays off almost immediately when Alvarez tumbles inside the area, but Medel just got a touch on the ball. Good decision.
13.33: Not getting carried away with this Chile-philia, as it were, but they're doing all this without Suazo, their leading scorer.
WRAP: That's the thing about World Cups (you'll read that phrase a lot. I apologise. But that's the thing about World Cups) you never know where you'll find a hugely entertaining game. This has been the best of the lot so far, by some way, and Chile on this evidence will be very dangerous opponents when they progress behind Spain. Udinese have a player on their hands in Sanchez, that's for sure, and Fernandez has also been particularly pleasing on the eye. And d'you know what, didn't even hear the vuvus.
"Nice to see Chile playing to win, rather than to lose" emails Matt Ryce. "Which is what we have seen for most of this world cup *cough, cough* Ivory Coast, Portugal *cough cough* Good on you Chile!"
HALF-TIME: Honduras 0-1 Chile. Bravo.
45 min: Another very, very dubious decision against Chile gives Honduras a final chance before the break. Nunez hits it right-footed with sting and dip but Bravo mitts it over the bar.
"Chile to win the World Cup!," emails Paul Field. "By far the most impressive team seen so far, and we didn’t have to wait till the second half!" With you Paul. I feel somehow refreshed.
41 min: Right. This is now clear. The ball, the vuvus, the altitude, all those spurious excuses for crap football, have been exposed. This is a brilliant performance from Chile and a thoroughly enjoyable game. I will pinch, hard, anyone who blames the ball from this point on. Honduras aren't completely out of this, but Nunez's skied left-footer is about as close as they've come.
38 min: Chile are getting even better. Flicks, back-heels, options, pace. This is much, much more like it. Not sure I've seen a better performance thus far, actually. Insert your own puns here about Chile adding flavour to a bland dish, that type of thing, if you like.
From blogger TomKerrElGringo "1-0 Chile and its been coming. Brilliant build-up play on the right wing leads to a simple tap in for Beausejour."
35 min: GOAL! Honduras 0-1 Chile. Well deserved, and very well worked, opener for Chile. Beausejour bundles home Isla's cross and Chile are good value for that.
33 min: And there we have it! Palacios is booked for his 33rd foul.
31 min: Figueroa gets away with an outrageous foul on the flying Sanchez. Hit the deck and threw his shoulder at the winger, but somehow, referee Maillet didn't give it. Sanchez looks utterly bemused - not the first Chile player to have that reaction provoked by this referee.
28 min: Sanchez may be Chile's most danerous player, but it's Fernandez who's at the fulcrum of all their best bits. Of which there've been many. Chile desperately missing Suazo, though, their leading scorer in qualifying who was injured in a friendly pre-World Cup.
24 min: Sanchez is back on the right wing - his acceleration is something else - and he beats two men before earning another corner.
21 min: Honduras have been rattled by Sanchez, Chile's warp speed winger, who has been mightily imrpressive so far. He was moonlighting on the left flank and obliterated Chavez with a superb burst before setting up Valdivia, whose shot was deflected over the bar.
19 min: Fernandez is carded - remarkably soft booking from the err, Seychellesian (?) referee too - for a foul on Mendoza.
16 min: Enjoying this one. Chile are warming us up for Spain tonight with a kind of tribute band gig - cute first-time passes and attractive combinations. Honduras more direct and muscular.
12 min: Great stuff from Chile. Lovely, flowing move involving Millar and Vidal creates an opening for Beausejour, but the final pass is a touch too heavy.
8 min: Vidal wobbles the Jab from 40 yards, good dig, that and Valladares fumbles it dangerously. Honduras then clear. Pat Nevin on 5 live reckons the way to hit this ball is to take a little bit off your shot, then watch it misbehave like a e-numbered child.
5 min: Good start from Chile. Same kit as Spain, and similarly attractive short passing game. Ponce, the Chile right-back, has yet to have a touch. Stop sniggering please...
2 min: Free-kick chance for Fernandez, the Sporting Lisbon midfielder, and that's cracking hit. Dipping, and inches over Valladares' bar. Fine hit. The original foul in midfield, of course, was Wilson's.
12.29: Full enough, I guess, for a game like this. Not sure how many of the 30,000 aren't Wigan scouts. Huddling, at the moment. But we are go....
12.28: No tears during the anthems. That, from the PDRK boys, was my World Cup highlight so far. Apart from Wayne Rooney's press conference today. Which was sensational.
12.24: Pre-match prediction. Half-time: 0-0. And a Palacios booking.
12.15: Group H - where have you been all my life! Let's show them how's it's done shall we. Chile v Honduras kicks off at 12.30pm.
12.10: The news is thus:
"Injury ruled out Chilean Humberto Suazo - leading scorer in the South American qualifiers with 10 goals - and Honduran David Suazo from the first fixture at one of the five purpose-built tournament venues. Chile are seeking a first World Cup win since beating Yugoslavia on June 16 1962 to finish third as hosts while Honduras want a first tournament victory having drawn twice and lost once in a previous appearance 28 years ago."
Chile: Claudio Bravo (capt), Waldo Ponce, Mauricio Isla, Carlos Carmona, Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal, Jorge Valdivia, Matias Fernandez, Jean Beausejour, Gary Medel, Rodrigo Millar
Coach: Marcelo Bielsa (ARG)
Honduras: Noel Valladares, Osman Chavez, Maynor Figueroa, Ramon Nunez, Wilson Palacios, Carlos Pavon, Roger Espinoza, Edgar Alvarez, Amado Guevara (capt), Emilio Izaguirre, Sergio Mendoza