Jun 17, 2010
Switzerland have pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the tournament to date by defeating tournament favourites Spain 1-0 in their Group H clash of the 2010 World Cup at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
A Gelson Fernandes goal for Switzerland on 52 minutes was good enough to get them over the line and defeat the highly rated Spanish team in a totally unexpected result.
Spain totally controlled play and had more shots than a rabid dog during the course of the game, but like a rabid dog, they were finally put down by a Swiss side who capitalised on one of their rare advances forward to grab the lead and hold on to it for Switzerlands first win over Spain in International competition.
The only people cheering louder than Swiss fans were bookmakers, with Switzerland a rank outsider at around $12.00 before the game started.
Spain totally dominated play in the fist half and Switzerland barely touched the ball in the first stanza, although Spain didn’t do much with it either as they seemed intent on showing the world how well they could move the ball.
In hindsight, perhaps they could have used that time better to actually have a crack at goal and they might very well have had a different ending.
Switzerland appeared set to defend as best they could against the more favoured Spanish team and then attack when they got the chance.
Spain started to focus on goal later in the half and Iniesta was a handful down the left while David Villa was the most likely forward to grab a goal if the chance arose.
The Swiss gave plenty of attention to Iniesta and he received a number of free kicks for Spain.
Although Spain had all the play, they never really looked like scoring for ours, and they created a number of ambitious chances from positions that required precision to score goals and they never eventuated.
Half-time score was 0-0 in Durban and Switzerland would have been very happy with their efforts.
First half rating (Out of 5): Spain 4 – Switzerland 3
Spain were on the offensive again in the second half as they tried to find an opening goal.
On 52 minutes totally against the run of play Switzerland made a forward thrust and in the blink of an eye it was 1-0 to Switzerland when a goalmouth stouche ended in an unlikely Fernandes goal for the Swiss.
Spain were opened up down back and their keeper came off his line and failed to gather the ball which rebounded for a simple tap in from close range for Fernandes.
The rest of the half was flat out Spanish attack which was continually frustrated by the Swiss.
Most of the Spanish efforts were coming from the flanks, mainly the right side, and Switzerland were able to pick off each threat quite easily.
Switzerland went forward again and were unlucky not to have a second goal when the resultant the shot hit the post and bounced back into play.
Torres came on for Spain after 61 minutes and he provided plenty of spark but his touch was poor and he looked unfit from lack of football.
Switzerland denied all Spain challenges late in the game and picked up a 1-0 win for their efforts.
Second Half rating (Out of 5): Spain 3.5 – Switzerland 3
Spain 0 – 1 Switzerland
52m Gelson Fernandes (Swi)
30m Stephane Grichting (Spa)
74m Reto ZieglerFernandez (Spa)
90m Diego BenaglioPalacios (Spa)
Spain Starting 11
Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Carles Puyol, Gerard Piqué, Joan Capdevila, Sergio Busquets, David Jiménez Silva, Xabi Alonso, Xavi Hernandez, Andrés Iniesta, David Villa
62m Fernando Torres for Sergio Busquets
62m Jesus Navas for David Jimenez Silva
77m Pedro Rodriguez for Andres Iniesta
Switzerland Starting 11
Diego Benaglio, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Philippe Senderos, Stephane Grichting, Reto Ziegler, Tranquillo Barnetta, Gökhan Inler, Benjamin Huggel, Gelson Fernandes, Blaise N´Kufo, Eren Derdiyok
36m Steve von Bergen for Philippe Senderos
79m Hakan Yakin for Eren Derdiyok
90m Mario Eggimann for Tranquillo Barnetta
Team Game Rating (out of 10): Spain 7.5 – Switzerland 6
Disappointing result for Spain and full credit to Switzerland for doing what most football pundits thought they were incapable of doing.
Spain spent the first 30 minutes with total possession and did nothing with it, preferring to just pass it around at will in a round ball game of keepings off, when they could have been pressuring their opponents somewhat.
The Spaniards had plenty of the ball and created enough chances up forward but they were unable to create a clear path to goal largely due to the excellent defensive work of Switzerland.
Not the start they wanted but they are good enough to overcome that. Chile may be the problem that lies ahead on what we have seen today.
Switzerland had the World Cup Gods with them today and it all fell in to place on the back of a wonderful work ethic and a team discipline that stuck to the job at hand.
Withstood all that Spain threw at them and once in front they continued to deny Spain and ran out deserved winners from an effort point of view.
Can beat Honduras on their form shown tonight and with 6 points they would be favoured to go through.
Filed Under: 2010 World Cup