Only way is up for Spain, says del Bosque

Updated: Jun 26, 2010, 09:41 AM IST

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.

Spain lost their opening group game against Switzerland
and despite beating Honduras, they knew that anything other
than a victory last night 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."

Bureau Report