They came into the World Cup the favoured team to win but with a disappointing start to the tournament; a loss today could have meant the end of the road for the European Champions.
Nerves were quelled a little with Fernando Torres named in the starting line up but it didn’t ease the chip on the collective shoulders of the Spanish. Honduras didn’t intimidate Spain or any other side before the start of the World Cup. But following Spain falling to Switzerland, as well as all the upsets in the last few days, it seemed hard to tell for sure what could happen tonight.
Through the entire match versus Switzerland the preceding week, manager Vincent del Bosque’s team remained the dominating side when considering possession but still didn’t emerge victorious proving that a strong steady start in the first few minutes of the game showed nothing about the final results.
Kick off bought along nerves and worry for the Spanish, and David Villa’s strike in the 6th minute could have been a sigh of relief had it not hit the goal post and bounce off
By the 8th minute there were already two penalty claims from Spain that were ignored by the referee. Lady luck didn’t seem to be on the Spanish side tonight.
Right from the start Spain appeared a stronger side than the last game, creating more chances and looking more confident
The 10th minute showed a second missed scoring from Sergio Ramos and it took four more minutes for Honduras to create their first real chance before they were stopped by Spanish keeper Iker Casillas.
Seventeen nerve wracking minutes later Spain finally got its first goal of the night. A sensational goal from Villa that completely beat Noel Valladares and let some pressure off the Spaniards, giving them and their fans room to breathe.
In the 33rd minute the team in red was given another opportunity to score right. Unfortunately Torres missed out on two chances in a row, within the span of minutes. One a missed header and the other was a shot over the cross bar. Had they been successful, Spain should have been five goals up by the 40th minute. Spain played great but it finished rusty.
The third penalty claim from Spain came in the 43rd minute and was once again ignored by the referee.
Few seconds before the referee blew the whistle for the half. Honduras got their first corner of the night but were unsuccessful in scoring.
The second Spanish goal came six minutes into the second half. Villa’s shot took a deflection and went straight into the back of the net giving him his 41’st goal scored for Spain. Few minutes after Villa’s stunning goal, Ramos nearly put one on the back of the net.
Spain exemplified confidence and seemed unstoppable
The fifth appeal turned things around for the Spanish. Villa seemed about to score, giving Spain a three goal lead and taking them one step further to the next round of the World Cup, but he missed. The anguish of missing a chance to score a hat trick in the world cup was quite visible on Villa’s face.
Soon Cesc Fabregas was bought on to the field for his first World Cup appearance , Xavi being the man removed and hardly few seconds Fabregas gave Honduras a scare almost scoring a goal.
Neither Torres or Ramos had the day going in their favour with so many missed opportunities, luckily Villa’s two exceptional goals kept Spain from being knocked out of the World Cup at such an early stage. The score should have been more than just 2-0, but I don’t think many Spanish supporters will be complaining. Spain must beat Chile in order to reach the knock out stage.