World Cup 2010 - Gonzalez sees Chile past Swiss

Eurosport - Mon, 21 Jun 16:54:00 2010

A second-half header from Mark Gonzalez saw Chile beat 10-man Switzerland 1-0 in their World Cup Group H clash in Port Elizabeth.

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The former Liverpool winger scored the only goal of the game after 75 minutes as he headed home at the far post to the acclaim of the noisy Chile fans in the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

The Swiss had Valon Behrami sent off after 30 minutes but fought bravely and Eren Derdiyok missed a golden chance to equalise in the final minute.

Chile now have six points but are not certain of their place in the last 16 as all three of the other teams in the group could still join them on that total.

Referee Khalil Al-Ghamdi from Saudi Arabia brandished four yellow cards inside the opening 25 minutes so it did not come as too much of a shock when one of the sides lost their full allocation of players.

Behrami made contact with Arturo Vidal with a flailing arm as the West Ham midfielder looked to fend off the Chile wing-back, but there seemed little intent.

Ottmar Hitzfeld replaced leading forward Alexander Frei with midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta in a 4-4-1 formation as the Swiss looked to stifle Marcelo Bielsa's adventurous outfit.

And it worked for 75 minutes as Switzerland, who had kept five successive World Cup clean sheets coming into the match, broke Italy's all-time World Cup record for minutes without conceding.

Chile were mostly limited to shots from distance in the first half, Vidal stinging the palms of Diego Benaglio with a fierce 20-yard shot and the follow-up from Carlos Carmona was hit even better but again the Swiss number one repelled the shot.

Humberto Suazo should have directed a close-range header on target while Alexis Sanchez shot straight at Benaglio.

Jorge Valdivia and Gonzalez come on for Vidal and Suazo at the start of the second half as Chile pressed to break the deadlock and Sanchez found the net only for his effort to be chalked off with three Chile players standing in an offside position.

Benaglio then got the better of a one-on-one with Sanchez after a rare lapse from Stephane Grichting and Matias Fernandez put a header wide of the far post before Switzerland's streak came to an end after 558 goalless minutes.

There was a hint of offside as Esteban Paredes sprung the defensive trap, but his cross from the right was met by South African-born Gonzalez whose header beat Stephan Lichtsteiner on the line.

Gonzalez became the first player since Aitor Beguiristain in 1994 to score against the Swiss at a World Cup.

Paredes then spurned two golden chances to make the game safe before the Swiss, who failed to muster a single shot on goal, failed to capitalise on a great opportunity.

Substitute Derdiyok found himself unmarked on the penalty spot after Albert Bunjaku flicked on a cross from the left but he sidefooted wide with only Claudio Bravo to beat.

Chile breathed a sigh of relief as they won two consecutive World Cup matches for the first time since 1962 and they know a point against Spain in their final game will see them go through as group winners.

Match Facts

Chile v Switzerland

Goals 1-0

1st Half Goals 0-0

Shots on Target 6-0

Shots off Target 8-5

Blocked Shots 5-0

Corners 5-3

Fouls 20-25

Offsides 9-0

Yellow Cards 6-3

Red Cards 0-1

Passing Success 80.4%-55.6%

Tackles 22-17

Tackles Success 86.4%-58.8%

Possession 69.2%-30.8%

Territorial Advantage 57.7%-42.3%

Lee Walker / Eurosport

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