Soccer  > World Cup  > Chile overwhelms Honduras, 1-0
June 16, 2010, 10:27 AM
NELSPRUIT, South Africa -- Honduras struggled to hold possession and fell, 1-0, to Chile on Wednesday in the Catrachos' first World Cup appearance since 1982.

A 34th-minute goal by Jean Beausejour kept Honduras winless in four World Cup matches but gave La Roja its first victory in 14 games in the quadrennial championship since finishing third in 1962.

Chile dominated possession from the opening kickoff and launched repeated attacks, limiting Honduras to chances from a distance and rarely allowing the Catrachos a meaningful touch near the penalty area.

The Chileans were twice denied goals in the second half. Honduran keeper Noel Valladares thwarted a header by unmarked defender Waldo Ponce inside the six-yard box in the 64th, and Hendry Thomas had to clear a ball from the edge of the goal box five minutes later.

Beausejour scored on a play that began when Jorge Valdivia fed a ball down the right to Mauricio Isla. The Udinese midfielder then sent a cross toward the near post, where a sliding Sergio Mendoza tried to clear with an extended leg, but deflected it off the back of Beausejour's thigh and past goalkeeper Noel Valladares.

Honduras played the match without the presence of manager Reinaldo Rueda on the bench, having to serve a one-match suspension for being ejected from the Catrachos' last World Cup qualifying match against El Salvador in October. Reuda's assistant, Alexis Mendoza, was in charge in his absence.

Neither team was at full strength due to injuries. Chile's lead striker Humberto Suazo was present but did not play, which was the same for David Suazo of Honduras. While Wilson Palacios was among Honduras' starting 11 despite getting injured in a 3-0 friendly loss to Romania on June 5, Suazo hadn't fully recovered from his injury in the same game and midfielder Julio Cesar de Leon had to be replaced on the roster on Tuesday after straining a thigh in a Monday training session.

All of those were on top of the loss of Carlo Costly before the rosters had to be submitted due to a broken bone in his foot.

Honduras' chances from distance were largely ineffective, with Ramon Nunez having his shot deflected high in the seventh minute and Carlos Pavon putting a weak effort wide in the 18th.

The Catrachos' best effort came on a free kick from 35 meters when Nunez's dipping shot was pushed just over the bar by Chilean keeper Claudio Bravo.

Honduras next must face Group H favorite Spain on Monday.

Group H

Wednesday, June 16
Honduras 0, Chile 1
Spain vs. Switzerland
Monday, June 21
Chile vs. Switzerland
Spain vs. Honduras
Fruiday, June 25
Switzerland vs. Honduras
Chile vs. Spain

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