Monday, 21 June 2010

Chile v Switzerland

Chile 1 - 0 Switzerland
Gonzalez 75

It didn't take Humberto Suazo long to make his mark on the game. He made it on Grichting's left thigh, thirty seconds in. A yellow card, and the most excitement in the first ten minutes.

Vidal broke the tedium, with a 25 yard shot that stung the palms of the keeper. It fell to Carmona, whose effort drew a rather better save. Soon after, Suazo's effort failed to connect.

That was it for a while. Chile were as industrious as they'd been against Honduras, but the Swiss defence is rather more obdurate. They carried on as they'd left off against Spain.

It worked for half an hour, then Behrami got sent off. He had his back to Vidal, and leant against him with an arm. The referee clearly felt he'd actually hit him, which I have to say seemed harsh.

Switzerland carried on with their usual game. Nkufo held the fort as the sole front man, Frei being replaced by Barnetta, while Sanchez, Suaro and Beausejour played their nice little passing moves in front of the defence without really making much progress through them.

For the second half, Chile replaced Vidal with Gonzalez and Suazo with Valdivia. At first, it seemed to make little difference. They scored from a free kick, but it was correctly disallowed for offside. Of the three Chilean players beyond the line, one was obstructing the goalkeeper's line of sight, and therefore interfering with play.

There were many, many yellow cards. Inler was booked for his tackle on Fernandez, Fernandez apparently for being tackled. He now misses the Spain game. Medel, known in Chile as the Pitbull, gave Von Bergen a playful little swipe, and Von Bergen went down as if he'd been savaged. Cue yellow.

Lichsteiner got gently tapped on the bum by a forward's boot, and carried on like Derek Jarman was screen testing him for the role of Saint Sebastian. No yellows for this, just a lingering sense of distaste all round.

Soon after that Chile got the goal. Valdivia played a lovely pass through the Swiss defensive back four to Paredes, who took it round the keeper but found himself on the goalline, yards from goal. Nothing daunted, he chipped the ball over keeper and covering defenders to Gonzalez, whose header bounced high, over Lichsteiner's foot and in. Some Swiss players seemed to be suggesting that Lichsteiner could have done better, but it must be hard to get your leg too high when your buttock's in that much pain.

Switzerland had to come out now, and things picked up from the neutral's point of view. Bunjaku came on for Fernandes (Fernandez for Chile, Fernandes with an S for Switzerland, thanks again to the World Cup casting department for all your valuable help), and made himself busy. Chile had converted one chance and squandered many, so you couldn't help but worry for them in the closing minutes, but when Derdiyok got the one big chance for Switzerland right on injury time, Inler flicking Ziegler's cross on to him right on the penalty spot, he shot wide. And that was that.

Two one nil wins for Chile, then, but surprisingly it's still not enough. If they lose to Spain and Switzerland beat Honduras, Chile, Spain and Switzerland will all be on six points, and one of them would go home. Another tense group, going into the final games. Good.

No comments:

Post a Comment