Spain back on track with win over Honduras

Spain 2 Honduras 0

Striker David Villa hit two stunning goals - and missed a penalty - as Spain returned to form with a 2-0 victory over Honduras at the World Cup tonight.

Villa beat three defenders in the 17th minute at Ellis Park and Honduras goalkeeper Noel Valladares got a touch on the rising shot but couldn't keep it out. Villa scored his 40th goal in the 51st when his shot from the edge of the area deflected off a defender and went over Valladares.



The Spain striker had a chance for a hat trick but he missed a penalty in the 62nd. Spain earned the penalty when Jesus Navas was tripped up inside the right side of the area.



Spain has three points and can still win Group H with a victory over Chile, which earlier beat Switzerland 1-0 and leads with six points. Switzerland has three points and Honduras has zero.



"If we beat Chile we're practically group winners, so we're happy," Villa said. "The good thing is that this result means we depend on ourselves."



Villa single-handedly took the pressure off Spain — a favorite coming into the tournament in South Africa — with a superb individual opener that helped erase a frustrating start.



"Our (1-0) loss to Switzerland is water under the bridge," Villa said. "Today, we played in the same style, we attacked with short passes and we had some very good chances."



His fifth World Cup goal put him even with four Spain players as the country's leading scorer in the competition and moved him within four goals of Raul Gonzalez's record of 44 for the national team.



"It's a shame," Villa said. "I could have passed (the other four players) with a penalty but I'm still happy with this result."



The win improved Spain's chances of avoiding a potential matchup with Brazil in the round of 16. Honduras, however, must beat Switzerland in its last match and hope Chile defeats Spain.



"There's no great analysis needed. We knew there was no tomorrow, that it was a must-win (match)," Honduras captain Amado Guevara said. "Now we need to keep working and move forward."



Spain attacked from the start and created a handful of early chances, including a long-range shot from Villa that beat the outstretched Valladares but hit the crossbar in the seventh.



Ramos, whose ninth-minute penalty appeal was waived away, headed Joan Capdevila's cross over at the far post in the 11th.



Spain's defense provided goalkeeper Iker Casillas with some nervous moments soon after as the captain rushed to catch a high ball before blocking Amado Guevara's shot just before Villa's goal.



Navas' speed kept Honduras off-kilter, while Fernando Torres — uncharacteristically — missed three clear chances in the first half.



The Liverpool striker, making his first start since right knee surgery in April, headed over the bar before sending a shot high in the 33rd. He then wasted Villa's fine pass from inside the area at the close of the half.



Honduras brought striker Georgie Welcome on for Roger Espinoza after the restart but were left exposed as Xavi Hernandez guided the breakout that led to Villa's second goal.



Spain was guilty of using too many touches as it blew great buildups on goal either side of Villa's penalty miss, and David Suazo finally got a shot off for Honduras in the 65th.



"We lacked conviction," Honduras coach Reinaldo Rueda said. "There's nothing much to explain except that we had a superior team in front of us."



Cesc Fabregas came on for Xavi in the 66th and rounded Valladares with his first touch only for Chavez to clear it off the goal line. Fabregas, who didn't play against the Swiss, was a constant threat as Spain peppered its opponent's goal to the end, with Ramos coming close in the 67th.



Spain: Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos (Alvaro Arbeloa, 77), Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique, Joan Capdevila, Jesus Navas, Sergio Busquets, Xavi (Cesc Fabregas, 66), Xabi Alonso, Fernando Torres (Juan Manuel Mata, 70), David Villa.



Honduras: Noel Valladares, Sergio Mendoza, Osman Chavez, Maynor Figueroa, Emillio Izaguirre, Wilson Palacios, Amado Guevara, Danilio Turcios (Ramon Nunez, 63), Walter Martinez, Roger Espinoza (Georgie Welcome, 46), David Suazo (Jerry Palacios, 84).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor