Chile too hot to handle for 10-man Switzerland
Chile continued their dream World Cup run with a 1-0 defeat of 10-man Switzerland here on Monday to move within touching distance of the last 16. The South Americans climbed to the top of Group H after second half substitute Mark Gonzalez finally broke down a steely Swiss defence in the 75th minute. Italy humbledsports Updated: Jun 22, 2010 02:11 IST
Chile continued their dream World Cup run with a 1-0 defeat of 10-man Switzerland here on Monday to move within touching distance of the last 16. The South Americans climbed to the top of Group H after second half substitute Mark Gonzalez finally broke down a steely Swiss defence in the 75th minute.
Chile, who had beaten Honduras 1-0 last week, will be assured qualification if the late game between Spain and Honduras ends in a draw.
Switzerland, stunning 1-0 winners over favourites Spain in their first match, were up against it after going a man down on 30 minutes when Valon Behrami was sent off. The midfielder was given his marching orders by Saudi Arabian referee Khalil Al Ghamdi for a tangle with Arturo Vidal after he appeared to elbow the Bayer Leverkusen player in the face.
Chile had the first shot on target when Italy-based Carlos Carmona fired in from 20m, the ball safely scooped up by Swiss keeper Diego Benaglio.
Carmona then ensured he would miss Chile's closing Group H match with Spain on Friday by picking up a yellow card for a challenge on Behrami in the 21st minute to add to the one he received last week.
Four minutes before the interval Swiss coach Ottmar Hitzfeld made a tactical switch, pulling off striker Alexander Frei and replacing the team captain with midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta. After the break Chile's Argentinian coach Marcelo Bielsa replaced midfielder Vidal with Gonzalez, the CSKA Moscow striker.
Alexis Sanchez thought he had scored in the 49th minute, celebrating only to see out of the corner of his eye the linesman's flag raised for offside.
The referee then dished out three yellow cards in the space of a minute to Swiss defender Reto Ziegler and Chilean duo Gary Medel and Matias Fernandez to take the tally to eight with one red. Chile made the breakthrough when Esteban Paredes, who had come in 10 minutes earlier as a replacement for Matias Fernandez, raced around Benaglio and found Gonzalez who headed into an empty goal.
First Published: Jun 22, 2010 00:04 IST