Chile beat Honduras, record first WC win in 48 years
Chile missed chances galore before recording their first World Cup soccer win in nearly half a century as they scraped past Honduras 1-0 in their Group-H opener in Nelspruit today.sports Updated: Jun 17, 2010 02:15 IST
Chile missed chances galore before recording their first World Cup soccer win in nearly half a century as they scraped past Honduras 1-0 in their Group-H opener in Nelspruit on Wednesday.
Striker Kean Beausejour produced the match-winner midway through the opening session to help his team break a long-standing World Cup jinx at the packed Mbombela stadium.
Beausejour's strike in the 34th minute brought about a highly emotional moment for the Chileans who had last won a World Cup match against Yugoslavia way back in 1962.
Since then, they had made 13 appearances in the finals but victory had eluded them.
But despite earning full points, the Chileans would be far from happy with their performance as their forwards squandered a number of opportunities despite penetrating the Honduras defence time and again.
The Chileans romped ahead in the 34th minute of the contest with striker Beausejour slotting home from close range following a combined and well-orchestrated move.
Midfielder Jorge Valdivia initiated the goal-bound move as he broke through the defence with deft footwork from the flanks before crossing to Beausejour who only had to tap the ball in with rival goalkeeper Noel Valladares out of position.
Undaunted by the setback, Honduras players did manage to make a few serious forays into the Chilean goalmouth but lacked the finishing touch to find the equaliser.
Both the teams launched their campaign on a cautious note but the Chileans, ranked 18th in the current FIFA rankings, started to find their bearing with a series of attacks after the early nerves.
Although the Chileans more or less dominated the opening session by enjoying territorial advantage, Honduras did manage to give them some anxious moments.
Chile could have taken the lead in the 20th minute when Valdivia broke through the defence with ease but his volley was brilliantly fended off by custodian Valladares.
Three minutes, the men in red jerseys saw another effort going in vain when Alexis Sanchez beat his man and darted down the right flank and passed the ball to Waldo Ponce who in turned found Valdivia inside the box. But the playmaker's shot was deflected over the bar.
It was then Honduras' turn to fritter away a chance as the 36-year-old veteran striker Carlos Pavon saw his shot go wide off the target.
First Published: Jun 16, 2010 18:50 IST