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Pattaya Daily News

26 June 2010 :: 14:06:31 pm 27461

Drab Draws Make Way for the Entertaining Knockout Stages

In a night which saw two scoreless draws and a predictable thrashing, the World Cup said goodbye to the relatively drab group stages and hello to the entertainment machine that is the knockout rounds.
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South Africa, the 25th of June 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: Switzerland failed to grad the win they needed to ensure progression to the second round after playing out an uninspiring 0-0 draw with Honduras at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.

The Swiss needed a 2-0 win to overtake Chile into second place in Group H but it was the South Americans who produced the best of the rare chances in a dire match. Honduras went into the game as the only team without points and goals at this World Cup, but they have at last registered one point in only their second appearance at the finals.

Spain claimed top spot in Group H as they beat 10-man Chile 2-1 at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria which also saw the progression of the Chileans following the result in Bloemfontein.

David Villa opened the scoring with a long range strike in the 24th minute whilst Andres Iniesta added a second for the Spanish 13 minutes later. Chile’s Marco Estrada was sent-off for a foul in the build-up to Iniesta’s goal, despite that Rodrigo Millar scored two minutes after the interval to give Chile some hope. The match ended with a 2-1 scoreline that ensured both teams progress to the knockout stages.

Despite outclassing North Korea and performing admirably in this year’s World Cup, Ivory Coast came up short with a 3-0 win, ending their hopes of progression from the group of death which also included the likes of Portugal and Brazil. Ivory Coast needed to overturn a 9 goal points-differential in the hope that Portugal would lose to Brazil in the other game of Group G.

Yaya Toure, the effervescent Romaric and substitute Salomon Kalou were on target in Nelspruit, but could not prevent Ivory Coast, with 26 shots at goal, from joining North Korea in exiting the tournament at the first hurdle.

Portugal joined Brazil in the second round of the World Cup after a hugely disappointing goalless draw in their final Group G encounter at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. Brazil secured the point they needed to top the group whilst Portugal, needing only to avoid a significant loss and large win by the Ivory Coast in the other match, secured second place in the group.

Brazil were unable to break down a defensively strong Portugal side as the match petered out into a stalemate following an ill-tempered first-half saw seven yellow cards. Brazil looked best in the first-half but were unable to find a way through whilst Portugal took the initiative in the Second with several close attempts.

Tonight sees the start of the knockout phase of the tournament. Deadlocked sides, after 90 minutes, play two extra periods of 15 minutes a piece before the dreaded penalty shootout will decide the winner, should there still be a stalemate. Uruguay will play South Korea in the first match of the second round with USA to face Ghana.

Video’s courtesy of www.footytube.com & www.youtube.com

Reporter : Harry Roberts   Photo : Internet   Category : Sports News

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