21/06/2010 Venue: Nelson Mandela Stadium, Port Elizabeth Ref: Khalil Al Ghamdi (KSA) Att: 34872
Starting Line up
Chile: Claudio Bravo, Waldo Ponce (Y), Mauricio Isla, Carlos Carmona (Y), Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal (Gonzalez, 46), Humberto Suazo (Y) (Valdivia, 46 (Y)), Matias Fernandez (Y) (Paredes, 64), Jean Beausejour, Gary Medel (Y), Gonzalo Jara.
Switzerland: Diego Benaglio; Stephan Lichtsteiner, Stephane Grichting, Steve Von Bergen, Reto Ziegler; Valon Behrami (R), Gokhan Inler (Y), Benjamin Huggel, Gelson Fernandes (Bunjaku, 77); Alexander Frei (Barnetta, 42 (Y)), Blaise Nkufo (Y) (Derdiyok, 68).
With Chile's first win in 48 years at the World Cup the moral was high amongst their player. The win came from their developing youth talent such as Alexis Sanchez, who finished third in Under-20 World Cup in 2007. They face another surprising package, Switzerland, who beat the tournament favourite Spain in their first match. Both sides were in ascendency before this clash and I expected much great match from both sides.
Sadly, it wasn't so. While Chile continuously threatening both wing of Switzerland, they were waiting for their moment to counter. The match itself was exciting and end-to-end stuff. Problem was whistle-loving referee. From the very beginning of match, he lashed out cautions in numerous occasion, resulting four yellow cards and one red. But send off was fully justified, as Behrami slung his arm twice against opposition. After Behrami got sent off, match tilted towards Chile but after some half chances, they couldn't convert any of them into a goal. HT: 0-0
Trend of booking continued as players became more reckless on tackling and challenge. Apart from bookings, Chile actually put decent performance in second half. Sanchez and Valvidia with good chances in early second half made sure Switzerland to get pushed back. Eventually, their work was awarded, as head of Mark Gonzalez, with help of Valdivia's cross found back of Swiss net. Switzerland came close though in the last minute but Eren Derdiyok side-footed effort went wide - their only meaningful shot of match. Nine bookings and one sending off. Thanks ref! FT 1-0