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Only way is up for Spain, says del Bosque

Sports Desk |
Update: 2010-06-25 18:24:59

PRETORIA: Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque said his team will be able to kick on after they secured their place in the World Cup last 16 with a 2-1 win over Chile on Friday.

Spain lost their opening group game against Switzerland and despite beating Honduras, they knew that anything other than a victory could see them eliminated from the competition.

And Del Bosque admitted his European champions were in trouble."We`ve overcome a difficult time for Spain, we were disturbed by that defeat," he said.
"From now on I`m sure we will be more optimistic and I`m sure that optimism will be reflected on the pitch.

"We won and we also did fairly well against Honduras. We were very upset when we lost to Switzerland. We had to go against the current, swim upstream. Had we drawn against Switzerland, things would have been very different for us in the group."

Things were not entirely comfortable on the night despite leading 2-0 at the break with a one-man advantage.

Chile scored early in the second period and that saw the Spaniards play conservatively thereafter.

"The match was very intense. I give great credit to our rivals. They played at a high level," said Del Bosque.

"When (David) Villa scored (the first) we became very calm. With 10 men they played very hard and made our life difficult right to the end of the match.

"After Chile scored we were a little unsure, perhaps our players were a little more conservative.

"They went right back, they looked for an equaliser but we had accomplished our goal. That`s football."

The coach brought off Liverpool striker Fernando Torres shortly after Chile`s goal but said that the star forward has no significant injury.

"At the break he felt a problem in his muscle but it has nothing to do with his knee injury."

Man-of-the-match Andres Iniesta compared the joy he experienced in scoring the winner to the feeling he had when he notched the strike against Chelsea that sent Barcelona to the Champions League final in 2008/09.

"Im happy to see Spain in the round of 16. That was our goal regardless of who scored," he said.

"I`m happy to have scored a goal and contributed to our team. My joy has been immense.

"That result more or less guaranteed our trip to the round of 16. When I scored that goal againhst Chelsea I was ecstatic."

BDST: 2638hrs, June 26, 2010

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