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Posted by Marcelo Angulo on 06/21/2010

One goal was all La Roja was able to convert in the win against The Helvetians in their second group game, played at Port Elizabeth stadium, Nelson Mandela Bay.

Chile had much of the ball and controlled most of the attack from the kick-off. The game changed in the first half when Switzerland where down to ten men after 30 minutes of play - Valon Behrami was given a direct red card for raised elbows in two consecutive tackles.

Early in the battle it was obvious that referee AL Ghamdi Khalil of Saudi Arabia was out to impose himself on the game with a yellow card to Humberto Suazo. By the end of the game a total of 10 cards were issued with 9 yellow and 1 red.

Chile had most of the attacking possession with 20 shots on goal and 5 corner kicks. On the other hand, Switzerland only managed 7 shots with 3 corner kicks.

La Roja again demonstrated a sharp and fast passing game with an attacking style now typical of Marcelo Bielsa's side. During the game Chile's attack was constructed through the edges, especially via the left flank of the pitch which saw Jean Beausejour win most of the ball - successfully making most of his attempts to cross in to the middle of the opposition's box.

At half-time, Marcelo Bielsa made two changes that resulted positively for Chile, replacing Arturo Vidal and Humberto Suazo with Jorge Valdivia and Mark Gonzalez.

At the 48' Chile was awarded a free kick after Beausejour was fouled in one of his many explosive runs. The free kick was played across the face of the Swiss area before Alexis Sanchez shot from outside the box to find the back of the net with a deflected ball beating the keeper. Unfortunately for Sanchez, the goal was not awarded.

The pressure from Chile grew closer to a goal with each attack as Valdivia serviced the Chilean offense from the middle of the park. The Swiss defence was strong and goal proof until the 74' - when Mark Gonzalez headed a cross from Esteban Paredes in to the back of the net.

On the positive side, Chile continue to maintain possession with their constant direction toward goal. Also, Suazo now fit and ready to find scoring form - or at least create offensive pressure. The negative, so far La Roja have not found the back of the net with ease, despite their possession in both games thus far.

Now Chile prepare for their final group match against Spain. Chile need either a draw or a win to see them top the group - for Spain, only a win will guarantee qualification to the next phase.


Posted by sam on 06/22/2010

I had a great time watching La Roja with all my collegues here in Santiago yesterday. Eventhough the scoreboard doesn't reflect the Chilean superiority over the Swiss squad, the team's dicipline and their faith for the style of play shown ever since Bielsa was incharge touched my heart!

I never shouted a goal that was later nulled as much as I shouted yesterday!! hahaha! After Sanchez had squeezed that ball in, we all hugged and kissed each other, to later, after 5 minutes, realize it was called off-side. But it was fun anyway!

As Chilean sport history shows, we always have to suffer until the last minute. The almost equalizer by the Swiss at the end, and the fact that even having 6 points after 2 matches is not enough to lock in a passport to the knockout stage, proves that this nation has the burden of sweating every drop of liquid before achieving happiness.

La Roja has all the numbers in their favor to move on, but Spain is a monster team. I believe as much as I pray!!

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