Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Swiss upset Spain 1-0 as Chile dominate with same score-line

Two matches which have truly begun to liven up this tournament, while they both only contained one goal, it was full of attacking play and good football.

June 16, 2010 - Durban, SUEDAFRIKA - epa02205336 Switzerland  s Geldon Fern  ndes celebrates after scoring against Spain during the FIFA World Cup 2010 group H preliminary round match between Spain and Switzerland at the Durban stadium in Durban, South Africa, 16 June 2010.
Spain - Switzerland

It started well for Spain, they dominated the first half's possession well, creating few but extremely good chances. Pique had the best in the 24th, Iniesta plays the ball which splits the Swiss defence as Pique turns a defender and hits it at the keeper from a 1 on 1 situation. Pique should've put Spain in front, but at the time it didn't seem that important because of the possession skewed towards Spain, almost 70-30. Switzerland were great in defence as they bunkered in against the powerful Spanish side, reminiscent of the Inter Milan Barcelona Champions League games.

In the second half began much like the first, Spain continued to dominate possession and chances with Benaglio often tipping the all just enough so that a Spanish player didn't reach it. Switzerland then scored against the run of play, a swift counter-attack against a Spanish defence full of holes allowed some lucky bounces to occur, giving Fernandes one of the greatest tap-ins he will ever score. A truly priceless goal which put the European champions in a tough situation, forced to grab at least one.

Spain tried to continue with their patient play, building slowly with heavy pressure when they didn't have the ball. The Swiss were invigorated thanks to the goal, they tried to break quickly with the ball, and they continued to defend with almost 6 in the box at all times. Benaglio continued to rescue the Swiss from David Villa's constant attacks, then Del Bosque took off David Silva and Busquets for Fernando Torres and Jesus Navas, providing two fresh attacking options.

Spain continued their offensive pushing, Iniesta's curling shot flashed wide of the post with Benaglio rooted to the spot, and Torres wasted a chance with the goal right in front of him, he couldn't control the ball as he eventually lashed a shot high and wide. Then Xabi Alonso from outside the box whipped a laser right onto the bottom of the crossbar, his thunderous drive bouncing back out with the whole goal still shaking. Navas was also determined to score as he almost had a goal after cutting in from the right, but Benaglio was solid, and the entire Swiss team were determined to grab this historic win.

Switzerland continued to counter-attack well, hitting the inside of the post on one opportunity with Derdiyok, and if they grabbed a second goal, it would be all over for Spain. In the end, Spain were just unable to grab the necessary goals for the win, and while they did come close, it highlighted a couple of weaknesses in their team and tactics. Switzerland on the other hand grab probably one of the greatest wins in their history as they top their group along with Chile.

June 16, 2010 - South Africa - Football - Honduras v Chile FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010 - Group H - Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit, South Africa - 16/6/10..Jean Beausejour (L) scores Chile's first goal.
Honduras - Chile

Chile were one of the teams I wanted to see most, throughout South American qualification they played an extremely attacking 3-3-1-3, they didn't play like that against Honduras, but they played a very attacking 4-3-3. Chile dominated the match with their incessant pressing, with the goal of winning the ball in the opponents half, creating plenty of chances and eventually scoring with a well crafted opportunity. A strange tap in was what won the match for Chile, the full-back received a through ball as he threaded it across the goal for Beausejour who's defender hit it into him for the goal.

Chile created so many opportunities with the brilliant Alexis Sanchez on the right, but they were unable to score any more. Honduras on the other hand were quick but not able to create anything solid, Alvarez was their shining light, his blinding speed won them free kicks and created a couple of opportunities, but overall, this was Chile's match which ended 1-0 for them.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

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