Jean Beausejour's fortuitous goal earned Chile a 1-0 win over Honduras in the first game in Group H. The ball went in off Beausejour in the 34th minute as a defender attempted to clear.
Beausejour rewarded coach Marcelo Bielsa for his attacking approach by claiming the only goal after 34 minutes of an entertaining Group H encounter at Nelspruit's striking Mbombela Stadium.
With Alexis Sanchez a constant threat, Chile should have won more convincingly with a number of chances squandered, particularly in the second half. Waldo Ponce had the best of them when he headed straight at Noel Valladares from point-blank range.
Honduras struggled to create meaningful chances and may now fear for their chances in a group that also features Spain and Switzerland.
Honduras actually suffered a blow before their first World Cup fixture in 28 years as experienced midfielder Cesar de Leon was ruled out of the tournament with a hamstring injury.
Fortunately for coach Reinaldo Rueda, he still had time to replace him in his squad with Jerry Palacios, brother of Tottenham's Wilson and the defender Johnny. That made Honduras the first team to feature three brothers in a World Cup squad but Jerry was not present for the opener.
Honduras were without key striker David Suazo due to a leg injury while his namesake Humberto, top scorer in South American qualifiers, similarly failed to make the Chile line-up.
Chile made the running from the outset on the part-natural, part-artificial surface and earned a free-kick after two minutes which Matias Fernandez fired narrowly over.
Honduras goalkeeper Valladares then had difficulty handling a swerving long-range shot from Arturo Vidal and Jorge Valdivia saw a powerful effort deflected for a corner.
With Rueda watching from the stands due to a touchline ban, Honduras did not create a chance of note until 17 minutes when Carlos Pavon dragged a shot wide. Chile continued to attack and pieced together some neat one-touch moves.
Honduras managed to repel a series of raids but were finally caught out when Sanchez played in Mauricio Isla and he pulled back across goal for Beausejour to slide in.
Sanchez had another opportunity before the break but Valladares parried while Honduras ended the first half with Ramon Nunez forcing Claudio Bravo to tip over a free-kick.
Chile threatened again straight from the restart with Sanchez playing in Beausejour after a tricky run but Wigan's Maynor Figueroa produced a fine tackle. Udinese forward Sanchez burst into the box himself after another menacing run but sidefooted wide.
Chile should have doubled their lead after 64 minutes when Vidal headed a Fernandez free-kick into a six-yard box free of defenders but Ponce stooped to head straight at Valladares.
Valdivia did put the ball in the net 15 minutes from time but Sanchez had clearly handled after Valladares beat out a long-range shot.
Chile maintained the pressure up to the final whistle but were unable to find the second goal their enterprising play deserved.