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

This is Spain’s group. The media call it “The Spain Group” and predict that Spain will progress through it and past Portugal for a semi-final match up with Argentina/Germany/England. Spain are expected to win.

No South American side has been behind this World Cup – let alone lost – and Chile qualified second in the continents qualifying and have played well to beat Honduras and Switzerland. It takes a special kind of mind set to assume that because they are the country of Real Madrid that Chile are heading home.

Switzerland’s dour grinding of a 1-0 defeat against Chile is the making of their challenge. If they beat Honduras by a goal they will end up with six points and a positive goal difference equally Chile on points and above them should they concede a goal in losing to Spain. If Chile draw with Spain the Spanish will have four points and Switzerland six and they will go through. If Chile win then Spain will fall below Switzerland.

A Swiss win – and without wanting to disrespect a Honduras side who are half amateurs – and they are through with the Spanish and Chile playing off for a place with a draw favouring the South Americans.

Chile start the game off with some flowing football which would grace any game in the World Cup and is a welcome relief after this afternoon’s foul Brazil v Portugal game. Mark González is on the end of a beautifully crafted move but is incapable of hitting the target and it Spain seem to be in for the fight of their lives. Alexis Sánchez is a little magician and seems like he will crack Spain open every time he gets the ball.

A fight indeed as Chile put in steel to every tackle Marco Estrada, Waldo Ponce and Gary Medel are all booked for “taking the game to Spain” and it seems that with Fernando Torres misfiring badly Chile will win the battle but keeper Claudio Bravo comes out to race to clear and ball and deposits it at the feet of David Villa some forty five yards diagonally from the open gal he finds.

Minutes later and Andrés Iniesta caps a great move that includes Estrada tripping Torres in the build up to received a post-goal red card and the game is over – more of less – with Rodrigo Millar scoring just after half time as the game fizzled out and Spain took the win and Chile – upsetting for the quality of football they have played – the inevitable fall.

Except they do not.

Switzerland are incapable of beating Honduras who play as well as can be expected but the negative neutrals have no forward gears and when they have to score two to progress – and the path is opened – they come forward like rabbits caught in headlights. Perhaps not even that – they have not frozen – they are just one dimensional and that Europe has only six teams nestled into three ties in the last sixteen of the World Cup is because teams as limited as the Swiss end up qualifying.

They go out and while in England we will see them again in the near future in qualifying for the Euros one can only hope there is a revolution in how they approach the game lest we have two very dull matches. Honduras go out to but they did well to get to the World Cup.

Chile progress to play Brazil in the next round which is a mouthwatering prospect. They have talent to spare and steel but the three suspensions they racked up in the ruck-ass with Spain will count agianst them.

Spain though seem to be back on track although Torres struggles. They face Portugal and have recovered the performances they have shown over the last four years. They lack the pace of Torres up front and much could rest on his recovery.


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