World Cup 2010 - Switzerland stun Spain

Wed, 16 Jun 16:53:00 2010

Switzerland caused the biggest shock of the World Cup to date with a stunning 1-0 upset of pre-tournament favourites Spain in Group H in Durban.

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Spain's 37-match unbeaten streak against European opposition came to an end as they failed to find a way through Ottmar Hitzfeld's superbly stoic defence.

The goal, scored by Gelson Fernandes, came via Switzerland's first effort from open play and was a real scrappy one.

Spain failed to deal with a long goal-kick and Iker Casillas came flying off his line feet first to deny Eren Derdiyok, but the ball fell to the former Manchester City and Everton midfielder who tapped into the open goal from close range ahead of a despairing Gerard Pique.

Xabi Alonso hit the crossbar with a thunderbolt from 20 yards but Spain slipped to just their second defeat in their last 49 matches and now face a battle to escape from the group.

For all Spain's precise one-touch football, clear-cut chances were few and far between in the first half.

The best fell to Andres Iniesta: his pass found Pique, who cut inside Philippe Senderos - but Swiss keeper Diego Benaglio came off his line and made himself big to smother the close-range shot.

David Villa also cut back inside a sliding defender, this time Stephane Grichting, but his attempted chip was wide of the far post.

Senderos was forced to leave the match in the opening period with an injury but his replacement Steve von Bergen, along with Grichting, were rocks at the back.

Spain increased the pressure after the break and the faultless Benaglio was brave to race off his line and save at the feet of Villa before Iniesta curled a 20-yarder a fraction wide of the far post.

Striker Fernando Torres, recovering from knee surgery, came on as part of a 62nd-minute double substitution with Jesus Navas and almost bent one into the top corner within minutes. He then saw a poke pushed behind by Benaglio.

Spain were now laying siege to the Swiss goal and after Alonso's rocket against the crossbar, Navas shot straight at Benaglio.

Aside from the goal, the only effort inside the opening 75 minutes for the Swiss was a Reto Ziegler free-kick - but they almost extended their lead as Spain pushed men forward.

Derdiyok did superbly to check inside both Pique and Carles Puyol but his poke towards goal came back off the post.

A cracking drive from Navas flashed wide and Tranquillo Barnetta almost made Spain pay on the break; however his 20-yard effort was just over the top.

Villa brilliantly chested through to Torres but the rusty Liverpool striker haplessly overran the ball and Spain became increasingly desperate in the closing minutes as they failed to carve out a clear-cut chance.

Xavi volleyed over deep into injury-time as Switzerland matched Italy’s all-time World Cup record of five successive clean sheets in the finals to seal a stunning shock.

Match Facts

Spain v Switzerland

Goals 0-1

1st Half Goals 0-0

Shots on Target 5-2

Shots off Target 16-3

Blocked Shots 4-4

Corners 12-3

Fouls 9-19

Offsides 2-1

Yellow Cards 0-4

Red Cards 0-0

Passing Success 89.5%-70%

Tackles 16%-25%

Tackles Success 87.5%-68%

Possession 74%-26%

Territorial Advantage 68.4%-31.6%

Lee Walker / Eurosport

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