Monday, 21 June 2010

ESP v HON (1930 GMT)

21/06/2010 Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg Ref: Yuichi Nishimura (JPN) Att: 54386

Starting Line up
Spain: 1-Iker Casillas; 15-Sergio Ramos (Arbeloa, 76), 3-Gerard Pique, 5-Carles Puyol, 11-Joan Capdevila; 22-Jesus Navas, 14-Xabi Alonso, 8-Xavi (Fabregas, 65), 16-Sergio Busquets; 9-Fernando Torres (Mata, 70), 7-David Villa.
Honduras: 18-Noel Valladares; 23-Sergio Mendoza, 2-Osman Chavez, 3-Maynor Figueroa, 21-Emilio Izaguirre (Y); 19-Danilo Turcios (Y) (Nunez, 63), 8-Wilson Palacios, 20-Amado Guevara, 13-Roger Espinoza (Welcome, 45); 15-Walter Martinez; 11-David Suazo.(J, Palacios, 84)

Iker Casillas

It was a big shock to me when Spain lost against Switzerland last week. Well, not they lost the match but how they lost the match really surprised me. With no Torres inside the box, they tried stupidly tried crosses that wouldn't be headed by any Spanish player and when they realised that didn't work, they seemed to be no alternative plan. This is focused on one thing: was the last match just a blip? Or are they choking in a major tournament once again?

We all knew how game will be played before the kick off: Spain will dominate the possession and Honduras will aim counter attack. Question is whether Spain could benefit from majority of possession. When the first half started, however, they looked different from last game, as Spain had more purpose and desire on attack and their passes were much more meaningful and direct than before. Within seven minute, they could've broken the deadlock by Villa's long range effort. Although his effort only hit the bar, I could sense that goal will come eventually and it was 17th minute when Villa single-handedly score by dodging three Honduras defenders. 1-0 and game was well and truly over. Spain continued to dominate and with Torres and Villa constantly threatening, Honduras could not get a player up front and that's how the first half ended. HT: 1-0

Second half wasn't much different, as Spain continue to dominate in possession. Although Honduras tried to change the game by introducing George Welcome, they couldn't do any attacking with limited amount of possession. Spain yet again scored and it was Villa once again and this time, it was a curler from outside the Honduras penalty box. Later on, Villa could've hat-trick by scoring penalty, given by challenge on Jesus Navas, but he failed to convert it, failing to close the gap on Raul's goal scoring record of 44 goals. The match continued with Spanish Tika Taka and without any Honduras attacking threats, the game finished in disappointing manner. FT 2-0

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