Spain wake up to beat Honduras 2-0

07:48, June 22, 2010      

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Spain's Fernando Torres shoots during the 2010 World Cup group H soccer match against Honduras at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, June 21, 2010. (Xinhua/Guo Yong)

European champions Spain bounced back from an opening game loss to defeat Honduras 2-0 in the World Cup Group H game on Monday.

David Villa scored in the 17th and 51st minute in Ellis Park Stadium to raise Spain's hopes to reach the knockout stage.

Spain, who lost 1-0 to Switzerland in their opener, took an early lead as Villa cut in from the left flank to smash the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box.

Villa doubled up six minutes into second half following brilliant cooperation with teammates.

Xavi sprinted down the middle and sent the ball to Jesus Navas, whose cross found Villa perfectly. The Valencia forward struck the ball from the edge of the penalty area which deflected off the knee of Honduras defender Osman Chavez, past keeper Noel Valladares and into the net.

Moments later Villa missed a hat-trick as he put his spot kick, which was awarded after Emilio Izaguirre brought down Jesus Navas in the area, inches wide of the post.

Just 16 seconds after leaving the bench, Cesc Fabregas beat Honduras' offside trap, rounded Valladares and pushed the ball goalwards but a defender caught up with the ball and cleared the threat.

Honduras rarely threatened Spain's goal. Every time they took the ball into Spain's half they were quickly closed down.

Spain played a beautiful attacking game since the beginning, with Villa rattling the crossbar from 30 meters at the seventh minute and Sergio Ramos heading a cross too high from six meters.

With the victory, Spain avoided the ghost of the 1966 World Cup, in which they lost their opening game and were shut out of the knockout stage as the European champions.

This match coincided with the 46th anniversary of Spain's first major title, when they became European champions for the first time.

Chile top Group H with six points, followed by Spain and Switzerland with three points each. Honduras are last on two losses.

Spain coach said after the game that his side should have scored more than two goals.

"I think we certainly paved the way to play against Chile," said Vicent del Bosque. "We should have won the game by more goals and I am not very satisfied.

"As to the Chile game, our team are in good physical condition. We are confident."

Honduras coach Reinaldo Rueda said that Spain's early goal ruined his plan.

"We were surprised by their early score," he said. "They had excellent players, they have far superior players than us.

"Spanish team wanted to have more goals, but we defended quite well.

"Perhaps we should play more collectively in certain circumstances, but the early goal from Spain disturbed our plan."

Special Report: World Cup 2010

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