Chile vs Switzerland – South Americans beat 10-man Swiss 1-0
Chile managed to beat a dogged 10-man Switzerland side 1-0 and take a big step towards the round of 16.
Mark Gonzalez scored the crucial goal in the 74th minute, heading past a defender on the line after Estaban Paredes had broken the offside trap and crossed it to the ex-Liverpool man.
It was the first time Switzerland had conceded in the World Cup since USA 94 – a run stretching back over 550 minutes that became a tournament record during the match.
The Swiss played an hour of the game with only 10 men after Valon Behrami was red-carded for raising his elbows dangerously with Chilean defender Arturo Vidal in close proximity.
On reflection it seemed a justified sending off but referee Khali Al Ghamdi had been rather card-happy prior to the incident anyway. It was the tenth red of the tournament so far.
While not as decisive in their creativity as they were against Honduras, the South Americans seemed to permanently have all their outfield players camped in Switzerland’s half and Estaban Paredes missed two glorious chances to make it two in the last 10 minutes.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side were almost made to pay when substitute Eren Derdiyok had the goal-gaping with only injury time remaining. But the Bayer Leverkusen forward sidefooted wide and Switzerland’s one and only chance was gone.
The slim defeat isn’t life-threatening for Switzerland, as a two-goal win over Honduras will be enough to guarantee a round of 16 place. It would give them six points and a better goal difference to Chile should the current table-toppers lose by any score to Spain.
If Chile draw or better it is the Euro 2008 winners who crash out.
However, despite sitting pretty with maximum points so far, Chile are at risk of going home if they don’t at least draw with Spain. Vincente Del Bosque’s side are expected to beat Honduras comfortably and with a win in their final game the only way of securing progress could go all out to beat Bielsa’s team.
Such a match would be a joy for the neutrals but with Chile missing defensive midfielder Carlos Carmona and Matias Fernandez suspended after picking up bookings, they may end up ruing not adding to their attacking dominance here.
What does the third 1-0 scoreline in a row mean for Group H? Chile are top but still at risk of going out should they lose to Spain and Switzerland beat Honduras.