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Chile 1-0 Switzerland - Match Report
Ten-man Switzerland set a new record for not conceding a goal in the World Cup finals, before being undone by a late Mark Gonzalez goal which gave Chile a 1-0 victory in Port Elizabeth.
The Swiss were boosted by the returns from injury of midfielder Valon Behrami and star striker Alexander Frei, while Chile drafted in Humberto Suazo and Gonzalo Jara for Rodrigo Millar and Jorge Valdivia.
The game was competitive from the start with Humberto Suazo booked for a foul on Stephane Grichting in just the second minute. Eleven minutes in the South Americans went close twice in a matter of seconds, as Diego Benaglio kept out a Gary Medel drive from the left side and then parried away a powerful follow-up from Carlos Carmona.
Referee Al Ghamdi of Saudi Arabia then booked another three players within seven first-half minutes, as the play continued to be broken up by a number of free-kicks. It came as no surprise, therefore, to see a red card brandished, with Behrami pushing an arm into the face of Arturo Vidal and being ordered off, in what seemed like a harsh decision.
Chile pushed on after that, trying to take advantage of their extra man, but the closest they came to a breakthrough came five minutes before the interval, when Alexis Sanchez collected Jean Beausejour's deep cross superbly, but scuffed a shot from 12 yards straight at Benaglio.
Chile made two changes at the interval and four minutes later Sanchez's deflected effort found the net via a deflection, but the offside flag was up and his celebrations were short-lived.
Six minutes later Sanchez got in down the right, but Benaglio stood tall and made an excellent block, before the loose ball was hacked away. A rash of yellow cards followed to break up play and frustrate Chile, while the Swiss passed the previous mark of 550 minutes for not conceding a World Cup finals goal set by Italy.
However, 15 minutes from time the Swiss were finally breached as Esteban Paredes broke the offside trap, rounded Benaglio and lifted the ball back into the area for Mark Gonzalez to head home.
Paredes then passed up a couple of good chances to make the game safe and he was almost made to pay right at the death as Reto Ziegler and Albert Bunjaku helped to play in Eren Derdiyok, who sidefooted wide from 12 yards with just Claudio Bravo to beat.
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