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Group H: Spain finishes on top, Chile advances, Honduras salvages a point


Photo by Ben Queenborough/


After an eye-opening loss to Switzerland in the first match of its World Cup run, Spain is right where most thought it would be.

David Villa and Andres Iniesta scored in a victory over 10-man Chile, and La Furia Roja claimed the top spot in Group H and a date against neighboring country Portugal in the Round of 16. Chile, whose loss ended CONMEBOL's unbeaten streak, also qualified for the next stage, finishing two points clear of Switzerland. La Roja's prize? A date with Brazil.

Switzerland had a chance to make things interesting but couldn't break Honduras' defense in a scoreless draw. The CONCACAF side earned its first point of the World Cup and exited the tournament with somewhat of a moral victory.

Here's a brief recap of the final group-stage games, along with Group H's Best XI:


Villa scored probably the weirdest goal of the World Cup to date, Iniesta added another before halftime and Spain jumped all over Chile early to claim Group H's top spot.

Spain opened the scoring in the 24th minute when Xabi Alonso played a long ball down the left for Fernando Torres. Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo came off his line and out of the box to slidetackle the ball away only to kick it right to Villa. The Barcelona striker ran onto the ball in stride and calmly curled a 45-yard shot from the sideline into the empty net to calm Spain, which got off to a nervy start.

Iniesta, making his return to the lineup, took a pass from Villa and slid home a shot from the top of the penalty area 13 minutes later to double the lead. Making matters worse for Chile, Marco Estrada picked up his second yellow card on the build-up to the goal, leaving La Roja shorthanded the rest of the way.

Halftime substitute Rodrigo Millar got a goal back for the Chileans, striking an 18-yard shot that deflected off of Gerard Pique and leaving a flat-footed Iker Casillas hopeless in goal. The goal eased the pressure on Chile, as it forced Switzerland to win by a two-goal margin if it were going to steal the knockout-stage spot.

Here's the highlight of Villa's absurd goal:


Needing a win to have any hope of advancing, the Swiss couldn't break though on Los Catrachos and settled for a disappointing, scoreless draw.

The Swiss' chances of reaching the knockout stage seemed great when Spain jumped out to its 2-0 lead on Chile. At that point, they needed just a 1-0 victory to join Spain in the knockout stage.

Nobody wearing red could sneak one past Honduras keeper Noel Valladares, though, as the Swiss bowed out.

Eren Derdiyok's wayward header in the 14th minute and Blaise N'Kufo's chances in the 42nd and 43rd minutes were Switzerland's best hopes to get on the board.

Switzerland keeper Diego Benaglio, who was brilliant throughout the group stage, came up with the save of the match when he denied Edgar Alvarez in the 71st minute, which at the time kept Ottmar Hitzfeld's side alive.


1. Spain……………6 points, +2 Goal Differential
2. Chile…………….6 points, +1 GD
3. Switzerland…..4 points, 0 GD
4. Honduras…….1 point, -3 GD







What do you think about the Group G/Group H matchups? Do you think Spain will beat Portugal? Do you think Chile can give Brazil a hard time? How do you assess Honduras' World Cup run?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Disappointed with Honduras, they have some nice players in Palacios, Figueroa, and Pavon. But they sure did the world a favor knocking out a Swiss side that was awful to watch in favor of a very commendable Chilean team. I don’t find them too bad on diving, and they make up for it the way they go for goals. Hopefully we’ll get a repeat of the 4-2 qualifying game vs Brazil.

  2. Bouseyour has the athletic hability but makes stupid decisions. Every time he made a stupid mistake the mexican commentators said, well that is what we expect from him.

  3. I can’t believe the ref gave a second yellow without seeing Torres’ got nicked. It was a foul but completely incidental.

    After that, there was no way Spain was going to lose the lead. Down 2-0, I could see Chile coming back to score a goal. With 11v11, I think Chile could have tied Spain.

    That said, Chile had a number of rash challenges. I kept hoping they wouldn’t get a second yellow.

  4. Honduras deserved the win. The sideline ref wrongly called back their legitimate goal. The difference in this match was their tactics. They came out to play the way they did in the qualifiers. They played with speed on the wings and two strikers up top. Ultimately the injuries to Rambo De Leon and Carlo Costly were too much for Honduras to overcome as they were unable to get good looks in the final third of the pitch. Those are game changers for this team. I feel that if they wouldn’t have suffered injuries to Suazo, Leon, and Costly, Honduras would have been able to make a good run in the tournament.
    Rueda’s tactics were horrible though for the first two games. He came out and played a defensive game against Chile when he should have let his team go and loose and attack. Against Spain he tried to play an attacking game with a 4-5-1. Terrible decision to leave Suazo up top by himself. It never worked in qualifying and was never gonna work against Spain. Finally he smartened up and played the 4-4-2 that Honduras was successful in during qualifying. The result, a free flowing game that saw los Catrachos attack and produce several goal scoring opportunities.
    Overall I think injuries were just too much for them. Although it is admirable that they didn’t get blown out by such offensive powerhouses without their full squad.

  5. Spain disgusts me. Bunch of divers. Pique running the lenght of the pitch to get the Chilean player sent off. Glad they’re playing Portugal. They’ll cheat each other, get booked,suspended and killed in the next round. CR9 is already on a yellow. They don’t get taken away until the quarters.


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