Attack-minded Chile make impressive start

CHILE coach Marcelo Bielsa claimed his team must play better despite opening their World Cup campaign in impressive fashion yesterday.

Jean Beausejour handed the South Americans a 1-0 win over Honduras in their Group H meeting in Nelspruit but Bielsa’s attack-minded side should have scored more.

Chile squandered a number of chances, particularly in the second half, and Bielsa did not want to celebrate the country’s first win in a World Cup tournament for 42 years for long.

The former Argentina coach said: “I think we won deservedly. We could have scored more goals and we controlled the match very well.

“In defence we did not have to undergo too many stressful situations and we attacked constantly.

“But we have to go on in the competition otherwise it will not be remembered as an achievement.

“You cannot foresee it, but if the number of goals becomes important in this group, we may rue that we did not score all the goals we should have.”

With Alexis Sanchez a constant threat, Chile should have won by more, with several chances squandered, particularly in the second half.

Waldo Ponce had the best of them when he headed straight at Noel Valladares from point-blank range.

Honduras suffered a blow before their first World Cup fixture in 28 years as midfielder Cesar de Leon was ruled out of the tournament with a hamstring injury. Coach Reinaldo Rueda still had time to replace him in his squad with Jerry Palacios, brother of Tottenham’s Wilson and the defender Johnny. That made Honduras the first team to feature three brothers in a World Cup squad but Jerry was not present for the opener.

Honduras were finally caught out when Sanchez played in Mauricio Isla and he pulled back across goal for Beausejour to slide in.

Sanchez had another opportunity before the break but Valladares parried while Honduras ended the first half with Ramon Nunez forcing Claudio Bravo to tip over a free-kick.

Chile should have doubled their lead after 64 minutes when Vidal headed a Fernandez free-kick into a six-yard box free of defenders but Ponce stooped to head straight at Valladares.

Valdivia did put the ball in the net 15 minutes from time but Sanchez had clearly handled in the build-up.

HONDURAS: Valladares, Mendoza, Chavez, Figueroa, Izaguirre, W Palacios, Guevara (Thomas 65), Alvarez, Nunez (Martinez 78), Espinoza, Pavon (Welcome 60).

CHILE: Bravo, Isla, Medel, Ponce, Vidal (Contreras 81), Millar (Jara 52), Carmona, Fernandez, Sanchez, Valdivia (Gonzalez 87), Beausejour.

Referee: Eddy Maillet (Seychelles).

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