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Supreme David Villa revives Spain's World Cup dreams

European champions Spain got their World Cup back on track with a 2-0 win over Honduras. Also on Monday, Chile beat Switzerland with another strong showing, while Portugal sent North Korea packing with a 7-0 demolition.

David Villa strikes his second goal for Spain.

Villa's double for Spain righted their ship against Honduras

European champions Spain bounced back against Honduras on Monday evening, winning 2-0 in their Group H match.

Superstar David Villa was the hero on the night, scoring both goals, and making amends for his country's opening defeat at the hands of Switzerland.

Villa's opener in the first half was a real gem, with the forward dribbling inside from the left flank and finishing emphatically at full stretch. His second took a big deflection, but the striker showed great positional awareness to find space for the strike. However, the Valencia star missed his chance at a hat trick, firing wide from the penalty spot around the hour mark.

The defeat all but eliminates scoreless Honduras from the competition, but otherwise, the group is wide open.

Spain and Switzerland both have three points after two games, while Chile have six, but it's theoretically possible for all three teams to end on six points with goal difference deciding who will advance.

Chile impressive again

Mark Gonzalez celebrates after putting Chile ahead against Switzerland.

Mark Gonzalez, who was born in South Africa, was the hero for Chile

In Group H's other game earlier on Monday, Chile grabbed a 1-0 win against Switzerland.

Winger Mark Gonzalez, who plays his club football for CSKA Moscow, scored Chile's goal 75 minutes into the game earning his team a deserved lead and victory.

Switzerland, led by former Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, again looked water-tight at the back; however, their South American opponents had the most possession and looked more dangerous going forward throughout the match.

However, the Swiss did manage to break a World Cup defensive record before going a goal down. The country surpassed Italy's record of 550 minutes of World Cup football without conceding a goal, having last let one in during a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Spain in 1994.

Portuguese rout North Korea

Portugal's Raul Meireles, right, scores a goal against North Korea.

Raul Meireles (in red) opened the scoring in a tight first half

In the day's first game, Portugal's host of stars proved too much for North Korea to handle, as they demolished the Asian team 7-0.

The match was a hard-fought affair in the first half, with the North displaying the same organized defense that kept Brazil at bay for much of their opening match. Portugal went in at the break with a slim one goal lead, courtesy of Raul Meireles. If anything, the goal came somewhat against the run of play.

However, the floodgates opened in the second half; after goals from Simao and Werder Bremen's Hugo Almeida within three minutes broke the North Korean team.

Tiago grabbed a brace, substitute Liedson scored, and Portugal's superstar Christiano Ronaldo also opened his World Cup scoring account as the team went on to record the biggest win of the tournament so far.

Pyongyang announced before the match that it would televise the game live, in what was believed to be a first for the country. However, fans would have been better served watching their team's gallant effort against Brazil in the first match instead.

Group G all but sewn up

Cristiano Ronaldo with the ball on the back of his neck in the run up to Portugal's sixth goal.

Genius, or fluke? Everything went Portugal's way in the second half

The defeat eliminates North Korea definitively from the so-called "Group of Death" – while leaders Brazil, who beat Sven Goran Eriksson's Ivory Coast team 3-1 on Sunday, are guaranteed a spot in the last sixteen.

Portugal is not officially through to the second round, although the team has a vastly superior goal difference and a three point advantage over the Ivory Coast, meaning Ronaldo and co are virtually assured to progress.

Author: Mark Hallam (AP, Reuters, dpa)
Editor: Michael Lawton

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