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World Cup – Day 11

Portugal 7 – North Korea 0

Ouch. Christiano Ronaldo finally got a goal, although he was offside. Clearly, the Portuguese kept their foot on the gas because goal difference will matter if they lose to Brazil on Friday (25-June). Apparently the game was shown live in North Korea, so expect a rash of defections as the players will fear dire consequences for embarrassing the Supreme Leader.

Group G:  North Korea is done. Brazil has clinched 1st. Portugal is likely to advance 2nd .. they can only finish 3rd if they lose to Brazil and Ivory Coast beats NoKo by enough to overcome the 9 goal differential.

Chile 1 – Switzerland 0

I wouldn’t call this a great game, but it was interesting. As expected, Chile came out attacking and the Swiss maintained a very disciplined defense.  The game turned in the 31st minute when an undisciplined elbow swing from Valon Behrami struck Chilean Arturo Vidal and earned Behrami a straight red. The 10 man Swiss squad defended resolutely for the next hour, but Mark Gonzalez scored on 75′, and that was the game.  Switzerland did set the World Cup final record for scoreless minutes.

Honduras 0 – Spain 2

The Spanish team seemed to get their attacking mojo back, keeping the pressure on for most of the game. The Honduran defense was just out-classed. David Villa scored twice and the Spaniards created at least three times that many good chances. The first he scored on 18′ – he collected the ball on the left touchline 40 yards out, drove directly at the goal, split a pair of Hondurans just inside the box, cut to his right 12 yards out on the post, and smacked the ball inside the far post. The second was a fluky goal just after halftime .. a blast from 20 yards out hit a Honduran knee and floated over the goalie into the goal.

The final Group H games on Friday (25-June) will be watched closely by the entire world. The most likely finish is every team’s worst nightmare .. if Spain beat Chile and the Swiss beat Honduras, Spain, Chile and Switzerland are tied on 6 points, and someone goes home despite two victories.  Also possible is the reverse (Chile and Honduras win), which would put Spain, Chile and Switzerland tied for second on 3 points, so one advances on the tie breaker with two losses.

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