x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

'We could have had more,' laments Chile's Bielsa

Chile's Argentine coach Marcelo Bielsa lamented a missed chance for his team to boost their goal difference after dominating Honduras, but only winning 1-0.

NELSPRUIT // Chile's Argentine coach Marcelo Bielsa lamented a missed chance for his team to boost their goal difference after dominating Honduras yesterday, but only winning 1-0. Jean Beausejour scored the winner in the 34th minute, giving Chile their first World Cup victory in 48 years, but they had 18 more shots at goal. "We could have scored more goals and we were on top," Bielsa said. "You can't foresee what will happen, but if the group is decided in that way [on goal difference] then we will rue the chances we missed."

Chile came close to doubling their lead on several occasions but squandered their chances, particularly in the second half. In the 62nd minute, Alexis Sanchez dragged a clear-cut chance wide after he was put through by Jorge Valdivia, the Al Ain playmaker. And in the 64th minute, Waldo Ponce, the defender, saw his close-range header brilliantly saved by Noel Valladare, the Honduras goalkeeper. Mark Gonzalez, on as a substitute, had three attempts on goal near the end and Valdivia had a 75th-minute effort ruled out for offside. "It's a fair result," Sergio Mendoz, the Honduras defender, said. "We didn't have a clear chance at goal. We knew we could lose this match, but qualifying out of the group is not impossible." Chile's last World Cup win came in 1962, when they hosted the tournament and beat Yugoslavia 1-0 for third place.. * AP

Group H
Country M W D L GF GA Pts
Chile 1 1 0 0 1 0 3
Switzerland 1 1 0 0 1 0 3
Spain 1 0 0 1 0 1 0
Honduras 1 0 0 1 0 1 0