Group G Matches:
Ivory Coast 3 North Korea 0
Despite being eliminated from the World Cup, Ivory Coast finished the tournament strong with a 3-0 win over North Korea. Yaya Toure, Koffi Romaric N’Dri, and Salomon Kalou each scored a goal for Ivory Coast, who finished group play with four points (1-1-1).
North Korea gave up 12 goals and scored just one; it finished group play with zero points.
Toure scored in the 14th minute after receiving a centering pass from Arthur Boka. Romaric scored in the 20th minute on a header after Didier Drogba’s shot rang off the crossbar. Kalou scored in the 82nd minute.
Ivory Coast outshot North Korea 28 to 8; 15 shots from Ivory Coast were on target while only four North Korean shots were on goal.
“I think the players were very, very good,” said Ivory Coast coach Sven-Goran Eriksson. “It’s a pity we have to leave, because this team is getting better and better every session. But that’s life. We’re out. We have to accept that.
“If you look at the three games we played, they should be very proud of themselves, and the country should be proud of them.”
Brazil 0 Portugal 0
Another scoreless draw, another instance of both teams advancing past group play. Despite the numerous scoring chances from both teams, the soccer ball never fell into either of the goals. Nevertheless, both Portugal and Brazil have clinched a spot in the Round of 16, with Brazil taking the #1 seed in Group G.
The Portuguese extended their unbeaten streak to nineteen matches; they have not lost a game since 2008 against Brazil, who snapped a seven-game winning streak.
Brazil’s best chance came in the 30th minute when Nilmar’s shot was tipped by Portuguese goalkeeper Eduardo and hit the post. Portugal’s best chance came in the 60th minute when Cristiano Ronaldo outran three defenders and sent a cross to Raul Meireles. However, Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar tipped Meireles’ shot wide of the net.
Both teams fired a total of 32 shots combined, with 19 going to Brazil and 13 to Portugal. However, only eight of those shots were on target (Brazil 5 Portugal 3). Eduardo made five saves while Julio Cesar made three.
Group H Matches:
Honduras 0 Switzerland 0
Another scoreless draw, but this time, neither team advanced to the knockout stage. Needing at least two goals to advance, the Swiss failed to score even one goal and finished group play with four points. Despite giving up just one goal in group play, Switzerland finished third in Group H behind Spain and Chile.
Honduras’ best chance of scoring came in the 71st minute, but Swiss goalkeeper Diego Benaglio made a brilliant one-handed save to preserve the clean sheet.
“We had an incredible Diego Benaglio who kept us in the game,” said Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld. “But as far as our creative play, that’s not something I can be happy with. I’m not happy with my strikers, either.
“We are very disappointed. Not just me, everyone the players, the staff, the people behind the scenes. In the end there is only the win against Spain, but we have to leave with our heads held high even if we didn’t make it.”
Switzerland fired 17 shots, five of which were on goal, but Honduras goalkeeper Noel Valladares made five saves to preserve the scoreless draw.
Spain 2 Chile 1
Despite South America’s first loss in the tournament, all five of its teams will be competing in the Round of 16. David Villa and Andres Iniesta each scored a goal to lift the Spaniards to a 2-1 victory over Chile. Villa scored in the 24th minute on a 45-yard bomb after Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo ran out of his box to knock the ball away from Fernando Torres. Iniesta scored in the 37th minute on a right-footed blast from the edge of the Chilean penalty area; Marco Estrada received his second yellow card of the match after tripping up Torres shortly before Iniesta’s goal.
Despite playing with just ten men, Chile managed to score a goal in the 47th minute when Rodrigo Millar’s shot deflected off a Spanish defender and into the net. However, it was not enough as Spain ended up winning Group H.
Spain will play Portugal in the Round of 16 while Chile will face off against Brazil.
Chilean defender Waldo Ponce picked up a yellow card in the 20th minute for kicking Torres; Ponce will miss the second-round game against Brazil.