Wednesday, June 16, 2010
World Cup 2010 Game 15: Chile 1, Honduras 0
Chile, which has the coolest border configuration of just about any country there is, dominated this game throughout. They probably should have put away more chances. This result is not a huge surprise. Chile finished second (to Brazil) in South American qualifying, while Honduras needed a 94th minute goal from the United States against Costa Rica to avoid having to take on Uruguay in the play-in series.
Performance against common opponents is always a chimerical way of evaluating teams, but Americans could not have been heartened by this result from the third place Concacaf team. The U.S. beat Honduras twice in qualifying, though they gave up an early goal at home and two on the road...to a team that never seemed able to sniff the danger area against Chile. Combined with Mexico's draw with South Africa, this result shows Concacaf teams are not really on the level as national teams on other levels. (And this in a World Cup in which Asia has acquitted itself quite nicely so far.) Then again, this is just one game and Chile is a top 20 ranked team. Still, Honduras looked like a team that was just happy to have qualified, and having lost to the second ranked team it will be interesting to see if they go at Spain at all. If they are out of it by the third game the Swiss could be the beneficiaries of having a "must win" against a team playing out the string.