BfB Goes To The World Cup 2010 (Without leaving the front room)

The final game of the second round of group games and Spain have yet to start the World Cup after a 1-0 defeat to Switzerland that saw them have all the ball but fail to make possession into chances much less chances into goals.

They seem set to not make those mistakes again and after David Villa has pinged the crossbar from range Sergio Ramos headed over after a quality centre from the left. The comes after three or four other attacks one of which the now starting Fernando Torres made a hash of.

The pressure tells when David Villa takes the ball into the box on the left and beats two men when – on the fall – he slides his foot out to hit a determined shot past keeper Noel Valladares. David Villa has been moved out to the left hand side to accommodate Torres but has responded with a performance that concentrates on ripping apart Sergio Mendoza.

The Spanish have a risky moment when Iker Casillas comes out to claim a ball dinked over the defence to David Suazo but they continue to attack looking confident and seemingly knowing the need to supply the strikers with good service so badly lacking in the game with Switzerland. Jesús Navas – brought into the first team after impressing from from the bench – floats a superb ball which needed a taller forward than midfielder Xavi.

A taller man misses a couple of better chances. Torres is found after Ramos rips past the left back and his cross is an open invitation for the striker who heads over when unmarked. A minute later he uses his speed to round the defence and with the goal in front of him finds the back of the stand rather than the back of the net.

Nevertheless the service for Torres from Jesús Navas and David Villa and from deeper is delivering the ball into dangerous positions and it is all a far cry from the playing with possession in the previous Spanish game. Navas continues to torment the Honduras defence. Navas once turned down a move to Chelsea because he did not want to leave Spain.

At half time the only thing to say is that it is a surprise that the Spanish have not scored more. That Honduras are still in the game is remarkable and a criticism of the Iberians attacking but as long as they trail by a single goal they have a chance – just as North Korea did.

Indeed so it is. Honduras has early possession and a half chance but Navas breaks down the right and with the temptation to cross to Torres looming he cut back to David Villa who – with a deflection – gives the Spanish a second goal.

A team can seem to be going nowhere and then a goal – a performance – and turn everything around.

David Villa spurns a chance for a World Cup hat-trick with a penalty that goes centimetres wide after Navas is brought down by Emilio Izaguirre on the side of the box and the Spanish look only stoppable by their profligacy. The wide penalty gives way to a series of possession which comes to nothing and it is worrying how – when compared to Portugal – the Spanish lack a cutting edge.

Cesc Fàbregas -a substitute for Xavi – makes a great run past the defenders and is found by a superb pass by Sergio Ramos but after rounding the keeper sees his shot cleared off the line. Sergio Ramos is close to scoring, Navas nearly gets a goal and Honduras are penned in. The goal difference for Spain will probably not put them through or out but the lack of clinical finishing later in the tournament suggest a problem.

Honduras though have been poor not so much in the fact that the Spanish have had so many chances but the way that they have not come under pressure when the have the ball. Their big players like Wilson Palacios have put in disappointing shifts not suggesting they were anything other than other amateurs who people the squad. Wilson’s bother Jerry comes on, Johnny has not but the fact that they have three brothers in the squad is a World Cup first.

The prompting, the geeing up, that one would expect from the name players of the Central Americans is lacking and were they to have been giving the spanking they could have then those players would have been to blame.

Navas – superb on the evening and second only to Sergio Ramos in the man of the match running – delivers early and at pace but David Villa cannot finish the chance.

Typical of the night.


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