Recap: Chile 1, Honduras 0
Chile put on one of the more impressive offensive displays of the 15 matches played so far in this tournament, yet only came away 1-0 winners over Honduras Wednesday in Nelspruit. The likes of Alexis Sanchez, Matias Fernandez and Jorge Valdivia were firing on all cylinders, keeping Honduras keeper Noel Valladares under siege much of the match, but it was Jean Beausejour's 34th minute goal that proved the difference. The buildup for the goal was wonderful. The finish, maybe a bit lucky as Beausejour was there to deflect a Honduran defender's clearance into the back of the net.
As we learned against England, all goals in the World Cup count the same and that one was enough to give Chile its first World Cup victory in 48 years. The three points puts Chile on top of Group H momentarily but La Roja will regret not finishing more of their chances if this group comes down to goal difference. It is now more important than ever that the side gets three points against Switzerland in their next match to keep goal differential from deciding their World Cup fate.
Honduras was largely the team the Fire's Soccer Fitness Specialist Alvaro Briones said they would be in my story yesterday, though they did hang around and gave the Chileans trouble. The longer they kept the match at 1-0, the more it seemed possible they could steal a point in the dying moments, as anyone in CONCACAF knows Honduras isn't necessarily the same team you see at first glance. They have heart and the ability to score goals and make plays that few other sides in this region are capable of.
Give both sides credit for their opening performance. Chile will enjoy tonight watching their next two opponents going at each other while Honduras will have to prepare for the daunting task of facing Spain coming off a 1-0 loss.
I'll be checking back in after today's second and third matches... Be sure to join John Thorrington, Logan Pause and myself at The Globe Pub for this afternoon's Uruguay-South Africa match beginning at 1:30 pm!