Spain vs. Honduras World Cup 2010 Live Blog: Results, Scores and Analysis

GuidoAnalyst IJune 21, 2010

Post-match Analysis (22.40)

A deserved win for Spain, and the 2-0 actually flatters Honduras, who never even looked like they would be scoring. To be fair, Spain could and should have put a few more past this rather poor Honduran side.

The Central American side was lacking ideas in the first half and was giving away far too much space in the second half, when Villa's first half goal forced them to seek the initiative a bit more.

Despite losing twice, Honduras still maintains a theoretical chance of progressing from the group stage. If Spain lose to Chile and Honduras beat the Swiss, three sides will be on three points, all behind Chile.

Having said that, it's only a theoretical side. I don't see this Honduran team scoring against anyone if they keep playing like this. Suazo is not up to the task at the moment and I highly doubt they have anyone better in their side, since he would've played instead of Suazo if he was in the squad.

This win also reveals nothing about what Spain's real strength is. They have shown glimpses of what I believe is their true potential. Some amazing one-touch passing, when they hit Honduras on the break. Their technical skill is amazing; as long as they can use the wingers properly, they can tear a team to shreds.

On the other hand, the team hasn't looked very clinical. It's a bit of an Arsenal syndrome I guess, brilliant football but lacking in real firepower. In some instances, the players seemed content to just pass it to each other endlessly instead of taking the shot.

Overall, I hope Spain beat Chile and progress from this group. Any side that can afford to bench Fabregas because of the quality of the other players doesn't deserve a first round exit.


And That's It for Tonight (22.22)

Not a bad game, but I don't feel like we have seen the real Spain yet. There is still a lot of untapped potential there. They are capable of much more, we have only seen glimpses of their true potential so far.


Abysmal crossing (22.19)

We have seen some decent crossing in the first bit of the game, but towards the end of this match, the crossing has been very poor. Just hoofing it into the box it seems, without checking for a teammate or a runner.


Taking It Easy (22.16)

2-0 up, three points in the bag, they're kicking back now. Shame. I can understand why, but I want them to tear up this Honduran team some more. Get a few more goals in, goal difference is important as well.


Another Miss by Villa (22.13)

Villa misses another chance, but can we really blame him there? Navas' passing was poor there. Still, no hat-trick so far for Villa, despite having had several chances.


Nearly a Hat-trick for Villa There (22.09)

Unlucky moment for Villa, as Figueroa prevents him from bagging his third. Lovely cross by Mata, but Figueroa gets to the ball with a sliding challenge before Villa can tap it in at the far post.


Transfer Speculation (22.06)

Just thinking out loud here. If Barcelona really wants to get Fabregas, how would he slot into their midfield? I mean Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets are running around there as well...


The Final Spanish Substitution (22.03)

Arbeloa on for Ramos, which is the final Spanish substitution. Mata and Fabregas were on earlier, which means Del Bosque is just giving the reserves a chance to prove their worth to the team. Funny really that a world class midfielder like Fabregas is nothing more than a substitute for Spain. 


Striding Forward (22.00)

Gerard Pique is really proving himself as one of the best defenders in the world. He is more than just a defender, he adds to his team when they are attacking as well. He just strides forward into midfield to bolster his team there and provide accurate passes for his forwards. Brilliant player.


Spain Is Picking up the Pace (21.56)

Now that's more like it. Spain are cranking up the tempo of this match and they are pinning Honduras back in their own half. The introduction of Fabregas into the Spanish midfield has created more pace and a higher tempo, as well as a player with more depth. Fabregas' penetrating runs could prove too hot to handle for the Hondurans, who are having difficulties already coping with Navas, Villa, and Torres.


Shoot Already! (21.52)

Magnificent individual effort by Sergio Busquets there, who created space and then passed it. Not a bad pass either, shows he's a team player. Unfortunately, all the Spaniards appear to be team players, as no one is taking the shot, instead they are trying to pass it into the goal it seems. Arsenal-tendencies, anyone? I love this kind of play, but it's destined to end without goals...


Hat-trick-bound Villa Misses From the Spot (21.49)

Izaguirre fouls Navas, silly challenge. David Villa claims the ball, aiming to score the first hat-trick of the tournament. Unfortunately for Spain, Villa misses the target. Incidentally, Izaguirre managed to avoid a second booking for his foul, which means he also avoids the subsequent sending off that comes along with a second booking.


Spain Can Do so Much Better (21.46)

So far, we've seen only glimpses of Spain's real strength. When they play in a higher tempo, picking up the pace, they are slicing through that Honduran defence like a hot knife through butter. My head knows that Spain is saving its strength for the next game(s), but my heart wants to see more of this brilliant passing game.


The Beautiful Game (21.43)

Good lord, that was an attack as I like to see them. Full speed counter-attack, lovely, intricate passing, players linking up easily and just swiveling through the Honduran defence. Shame they failed to score from that, but seriously, as soon as the Spanish pick up the pace, Honduras looks shaky at the back. 


Heads up Pique! (21.39)

Poor sod. He sustained a wound to an eyebrow versus the Swiss and just got Welcome's studs in his face after a sliding challenge. First blood to Honduras I guess...


More Space for the Spanish and They Pounce on It (21.37)

Okay, so Honduras added an extra forward and tried to apply some pressure to the Spanish defence. This in turn leads to more space for the Spanish who counter to a second goal by Villa, immediately followed by a chance for the 3-0.


Welcome (on)to the Pitch (21.32)

Honduras has made a substitution, as Georgie Welcome enters the pitch. Shame I couldn't come up with a better pun for that. No other subs on either team. Honduras took off Espinoza by the way.


Spanish Trivia (21.29)

Did you know that...

- Spain's team is nicknamed la Furia Roja (the red fury)?

- Spain's Iker Casillas holds the world record for most clean sheets in international matches? He managed to keep a clean sheet in 56 games.

- Spain is currently ranked No. 1 in the World Rankings and that Spain is the only nation to be in the No. 1 spot when a World Cup started without actually ever winning a World Cup before?

- up to their loss against Switzerland, Spain went 35 consecutive matches without a defeat, which is a tied world record with Brazil?


Half-time Analysis (21.23)

I like what Spain has done so far, but I get the feeling they are holding back. They're not giving it everything they have. The tempo of the game is fairly slow, but obviously still too fast for Honduras. They really need to get a second forward up there to help out poor Suazo, or they are never going to get a sniff at scoring a goal.

Spain is technically superior, so they can afford to play in such a low tempo, as their accuracy when passing is quite amazing. With Navas and Villa taking up wide positions, they are forcing the Honduran defence to play wider as well, which opens up space in the centre for Torres and running midfielders.

Villa is the man of the first half so far, for two reasons. The first one is the great goal, the second one was the unsportsmanlike conduct where he slapped his opponent in the face. I'm already looking forward to the second half and I'm hoping for a higher tempo and more goals. Spain are more than capable of tearing this team to shreds.


Twisting and Turning, but no Efficiency (21.17)

A bit of pressure from Honduras right before the break. Martinez dribbled forward and he was twisting and turning like a dervish there. Shame he couldn't pass it to anyone and had to play it back to one of his own defenders. It looked nice though. Also, Honduras won a corner. Wow.


More Slapping (21.13)

Seriously guys, if I wanted to see stuff like this, I'd have tuned in to some boxing match. Villa slapped an opponent there. The referee missed it, the camera's did not. Silly mistake there lad, you can get suspended based on video evidence for stuff like that. It probably won't happen, but I'm just saying it could happen, as FIFA would have a case here. You're not supposed to do slap other players.


Honduras Is Struggling (21.11)

Even at half-pace, Spain is outplaying these Hondurans. They seem out of their league, too slow in their runs, sloppy passing and just clueless. Suazo is so isolated up front, he could star as Remi in Hector Malot's "Sans Famille (Nobody's Boy)", which effectively means Honduras is harmless when going forward.


Suazo's Lacking Match Experience (Fernando Torres too...) (21.04)

The odd time that Honduras get past the halfway line, they generally lose it rather rapidly because Suazo up front can't hold up the ball. Suazo is a good player, but he's struggled with injuries all season long and it's showing. Oh, and Spain's Fernando Torres is suffering from the same problem. He just missed two chances an in-form Torres would have converted into goals. The long season has definitely had an impact on some of the star players for these nations.


Casual Passing by Spain (21.01)

Watching Spain play is just a joy to sore eyes. They make it all seem so easy... Casual passing, yet accurate and always to the man in space. Loving it. They're lacking efficiency though, just crank the pace up a notch and finish these Hondurans. The slow tempo is allowing Honduras to re-group.


Smack my B*tch up! (20.57)

Hehe, looks like Wilson Palacios is a bit confused, you're not starring in a rap video, son. No need to go slapping people...lucky to escape a booking there.


I Wish I Were a Little Bit Taller (20.54)

Okay, that was actually funny...the smallest guy on the pitch was trying to head in a goal. Xavi is a brilliant player, but really, he isn't the guy who should be heading in crosses. The guy is a leprechaun, which showed there...good cross, but he's just too short. He never even touched the ball.


Spain Are Dominating Early on (20.52)

They are playing like they should have played against the Swiss. Keep the pitch wide and exploit the space given to them by their defense-minded opponents. Navas hasn't gotten many balls though, as Spain are predominantly using their left wing. Pique bolsters the Spanish midfield a lot by moving forward when the team is in possession.


And There Goes Villa (20.47)

I said it before, Villa's drifting inside is creating havoc for the Hondurans. He skipped past his marker there, cutting inside and powering it into the top corner with his right foot. Bit of a selfish effort, but Villa is looking to redeem himself for that poor display versus Switzerland.


Poor Defensive Display (20.44)

Despite their defensive strategy, Honduras looks shaky at the back. Villa is drifting inside and skipping past his defender as if the lad isn't there. He's doing well as an inside forward, keeps the pitch wide, which makes it easy for his teammates to pass the ball to him, whilst also ensuring Honduras can't build a wall of human bodies around their own box, because the defenders have to track Villa as well and cover Villa's marker. Smart play by Del Bosque.


Honduras Trivia (20.40)

Did you know that...

- Honduras' squad has three brothers in it? Wilson, Jerry, and Johnny Palacios are all brothers.

- this is the first time that three brothers are part of the same World Cup squad?

- Honduras is nicknamed los Catrachos or la H?

- Honduras' forward Carlos Pavon is the most scoring player present at the World Cup? He scored 56 goals in his international career.


What a Shot! (20.36)

Now that's what we want to see. David Villa fires a cracking long range effort, but it cannons off the bar. Shame, it deserved to go in. Valladares had strayed off his line a bit and that shot so nearly went in. Again, déjà vu though, as the same happened against Switzerland. Also, Villa started wide and cut inside, so that proves my wingers bit. There's space on the wings, so start your attacks there.


Déjà Vu. (20.34)

Spain are passing it around nicely, Barcelona-style. Smooth passing, but it seems to slow down when they approach the box of the opposing side. Pretty much the same happened against Switzerland. Spain will have to make use of their wings more if they want to break down this defence.


Kickoff! (20.30)

So Navas is playing, Torres and Villa up front. So excited about this. Spain can be amazing if they find their groove.


My Expectations (20.20)

I am pretty confident we'll see a game similar to the one Spain played versus the Swiss. Honduras will try to frustrate Spain and defend, whereas Spain has to break down the Honduran defences. They can use the extra width Navas offers and I am certain we get to see Pedro as well if things are not going well for the Spanish.


Reaction to the Lineups (20.00)

Can't really say much about Honduras, mostly because, despite looking at their profiles in FM 2010, I don't know much about them. Spain is fielding Navas, who played well as a substitute versus Switzerland. He added some much-needed width to the Spanish game, which could be just what they need to break down Honduras' defensive style.


Expected Lineups (19.53)

Okay, so livescore messed up last time. I'm still going with their predicted lineups.

[ 4-4-2 ] [ 4-4-1-1 ]
  Iker Casillas  Noel Valladares
  Sergio Ramos  Sergio Mendoza
  Carles Puyol  Osman Chavez
  Gerard Piqué  Maynor Figueroa
  Joan Capdevila  Emilio Izaguirre
  Jesus Navas  Danilo Turcios
  Xavi Hernandez  Wilson Palacios
  Sergio Busquets  Amado Guevara
  Xabi Alonso  Roger Espinoza
  Fernando Torres  Walter Martinez
  David Villa  David Suazo


Match Preview: A Historic Point of View (19.10)

Amazingly enough, this isn't the first time Honduras and Spain have faced off during a World Cup. Despite this being only the second time Honduras have qualified, both teams played against each other before during the 1982 World Cup.

Spain, the host nation of the 1982 World Cup, didn't manage to secure a win versus Honduras during this first encounter. In fact, the Spaniards needed a late penalty to get a point from this match.

Honduras had taken an early lead due to a Hector Zelaya goal, before Roberto López Ufarte equalised from the penalty spot. I'm pretty sure no one in Honduras would mind a repeat of that score-line.


Honduras Preview: Football Manager Knows! (18.43)

When you know near to nothing about Honduran football apart from the fact that some of them play in Europe, who do you turn to when there is no Honduran living near you? That's right, you turn to the all-mighty Football Manager database.

Allow me to explain, the computer game series "Football Manager" is considered by many fans to be one of the most realistic football-management simulations ever. The in-game database includes the data of over 370,000 players scattered all over the world.

Most of the data is gathered by local fans who send their findings to a main researcher for a specific area. He filters out the unrealistic entries before mailing his research to London to the headquarters of the developing firm Sports Interactive Games.

Over the past decade or so, Football Manager (FM), its predecessor Championship Manager, and developing firm Sports Interactive Games (SI Games) have built up an excellent reputation for scouting talent at a very early age. 

Many talents that have exploded onto the world stage were recognised by gamers worldwide as FM talents two or three years ago. Just to give you an example, a player like Javier Saviola moved to Europe in 2001, but he's been a big hit with FM fanatics ever since the 1999 version of the game, where he was one of the biggest young talents in the game. The same applies to players like Wayne Rooney, Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Cristian Ronaldo, and many others.

The fan input gives the game this excellent database. There is no way a company could afford to have professional researchers check out every team in every nation, so this way SI can retrieve reliable and cheap data. After all, handing out complimentary games to your researchers will hardly cost you a great deal when your revenue is as good as it is, right?

For reference, the game is generally among the top selling games in the months of December and January, which is when the new game is released and millions of copies are sold worldwide.

So yeah, I had a look at the database of a computer game to come up with anything decent on Honduras. Basically, that told me what I actually anticipated: Honduras have a few very talented players and a lot of decent players, but overall no world class players.

If they stick together as a team though...

Still, that is not likely to happen. The team played very defensively versus Chile, and they weren't even good at defending, the Chilean side slicing through their defence several times. I expect them to play in a similar fashion against Spain; Honduras' defence looks vulnerable at best.


Spain Preview: Bring on the Stars! (18.43)

Spain is playing a slightly different style than the one they used during Euro 2008. From what I saw in the first game against Switzerland, Del Bosque is playing both Sergio Busquets and Xabi Alonso deep in midfield, which means he sacrificed one attacking player. The use of this double pivot in midfield means Spain play a slightly different brand of football when they are in possession, keeping the ball deep in midfield more often, whereas at Euro 2008 they tended to play with the ball high up the pitch, especially in wide zones.

The Spanish side is obviously a strong one, as Del Bosque could afford to leave Fernando Torres and Cesc Fabregas on the bench instead of starting them. I'm curious to see if those two get a chance in the starting lineup tonight. Spain need to step their game up after that debacle against Switzerland, so Del Bosque might give Fabregas or Jesus Navas a chance.


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