Spain, Chile and Portugal joined Brazil in the last 16 of the World Cup on Friday, but the glittering soccer promised by the world's leading teams was missing as nerves took their toll on flair.
David Villa and Andres Iniesta scored a goal each to help Spain beat 10-man Chile 2-1 and send both teams through from Group H. Spain now meet Iberian neighbours Portugal on Tuesday in Cape Town.
Villa scored a spectacular goal from 45 yards in the 24th minute at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria. He ran on to a loose ball and curled a left-footed shot into an open goal after Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo had rushed out of the area to clear the ball.
Marco Estrada was sent off after being booked for a second time during the buildup to the second goal. Drafted into the side to replace the suspended Carlos Carmona as holding midfielder, Estrada was first booked in the 21st and shown a red card for tripping Fernando Torres. Replays raised doubts as to whether there was any contact, and if there was, it looked accidental.
Referee Marco Rodriguez of Mexico had already shown a controversial red card to Australia's Tim Cahill in an earlier match and Estrada's was his second.
In the other Group H game, Honduras held Switzerland to a 0-0 draw - a result that knocked both teams out.
On a day when Latin American teams confirmed their dominance of the World Cup, with six teams represented in the last 16, Brazil and Portugal played out an ill-tempered 0-0 draw in which seven players were booked in the first half. Both teams calmed down and settled for the draw that Portugal needed to join Brazil, which had already qualified. Brazil now play Chile in Johannesburg on Monday.
Brazil was not taking any responsibility for the 0-0 draw, saying Portugal's defensive setup prevented the much-anticipated match from being a spectacle.
"It's really boring when we have to play against an opponent with 11 players at the back, only trying to draw," Brazil striker Luis Fabiano said.
Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz said his side "advanced on its own merit and now we have to start thinking about our next matches."
In the other Group G game, Ivory Coast beat North Korea 3-0 but both teams were eliminated. Ivory Coast scored through Yaya Toure, Koffi Romaric N'Dri and Salomon Kalou.
The round of 16 gets underway today in Port Elizabeth, with Uruguay playing South Korea, which has reached the second stage for just the second time. Ghana faces the United States in Rustenburg.
Europe's focus will be on Germany-England in Bloemfontein on Sunday - a fixture that has been closely fought for decades, starting in the 1966 World Cup final.
British Prime Minister David Cameron and his German counterpart Angela Merkel will have one eye on the match while they attend the G-20 summit in Canada.
"I'm desperate for us to win," Cameron said. "I will try not to wrestle her to the ground during penalties, but we will have to see."