PEEEEEEEEEEP PEEEEEP PEEEP. Game over. The upset of the tournament so far as Switzerland beat Spain for the first time and share the top of the group with Chile!
96:00 – Spain now with a corner.
95:00 – Yakin handles the ball and gets a yellow for his efforts. Spain get a free kick in a dangerous area. Its wasted by Alonso but Spain get it back.
94:00 – Nervy here. Benaglio is throwing himself around with reckless abandon. He’s braver than William Wallace!
93:00 – Barnetta off for Switzerland He’s been immense. Eggimann on.
91:00 – Yellow card for the Swiss keeper for time wasting!
5 minutes of extra time. Cow bells a ringing all over Switzerland.
88:00 – A sign that you have been injured for the past two months. Torres is presented with a chance to go one on one but his touch fails him and he prods it too far.
85:00 – Spain still being forced out wide. They’re trying a Plan B by shooting from outside the box which should leave space to penetrate with their slick passing. Too little too late?
82:00 – Switzerland pressing now as Spain are leaving themselves vulnerable to the counter attack. Barnetta is the main culprit as his first shot goes over the bar. Moments later he gets another chance and wins the Swiss a corner.
79:00 – Navas gets in on the action and shoots from outside the box and is inches wide. Derdiyok off and Yakin on.
77:00 – Iniesta hurts himself in a 50/50 challenge comes off and club team mate Pedro comes on.
75:00 – SWISS MISS(es). Derdiyok waltzes into the penalty area, controls, dribbles and sends a side footed that beats Casillas and luckily for Spain hits the post and bounces back out. A couple of other Swiss players try a shot but they’re all weak and hard to control. Spain are very very lucky they are not down by 2 goals.
73:00 – Spain are now attacking relentlessly. One has to imagine that they will score but the Swiss defense is performing admirably.
70:00 – WHAT A CANNON SHOT by Alonso from a corner but it comes off the top bar and back into play. That was unlucky and would have been a beautiful goal.
68:00 – First chance for Torres as he finds himself alone but the pass is just slightly behind him and he bobbles it. Finally when it’s under control, he turns and shoots over.
65:00 – An insane stat just came up in that Switzerland have not conceded a world cup goal in 457 minutes which dates back to against Spain in the 94 World Cup. That’s shutting down the bank! (keep in mind i’m sleep deprived)
63:00 – Iniesta gets the hearts racing in a different manner than Torres with a shot that went narrowly wide.
62:00 – Busquest and Silva off and Nando and Navas on. Millions of hearts a fluttering now!
61:00 – Villa with a one on one but Benaglio comes out bravely and pushes it away.
60:00 – Switzerland content in giving away corners as they are a taller team and can handle the only aerial threat which is Pique.
55:00 – In a way Spain were lucky that was a goal, cause Pique would have been sent off for stopping it with his hands and Switzerland would have had a penalty. Spain need to send on Torres.
51:00 – GOOOOOOOOOAAAALLL. HOPP SUISSSSE. THE BANK IS OPEN! Route one football. Goal keeper boots it forward and Casillas is late too come out. People bundle over and Pique smothers the ball with his hand but Fernandes perserveres and knocks the ball in the back of the net. Switzerland 1 – Spain 0
48:00 – Iniesta looking mercurial behind the Spanish forwards but the rest not so much
Second half under under way
Halftime. Spain need to figure out how to break down this Swiss team as they are doing a great job of limiting the relentless spanish attack to half chances.
45:00 – What was Villa doing? A nice weaved attack by the three Spanish forward players as Villa gets the ball, stops on a dime sending his defender sprawling but instead of shooting at goal with the keeper rushing toward him, he tries to chip it to Silva and the ball goes long.
39:00 – Switzerland’s only form of attack is coming in the form of corners. They’re a tall team so set pieces are their many danger areas.
38:00 – Spain really need to come up with a plan B and or C. Not that it has to result in goals but it will hive Switzerland and other teams something to look at and make their Plan A so much more effective.
33:00 – The Swiss 6 yard box is beginning to look like a rugby scrum.
30:00 – Iniesta is released and charges toward the Swiss goal as he traps the ball but is softly fouled just outside the box. Villa thunders one but its the wall and goes out for a corner.
26:00 – Switzerland get an indirect free kick outside the Spanish box. Ziegler gets it on target but Casillas saves it comfortably.
24:00 – Pique up was in the box from a previous free kick gets fed a beautiful pass from Iniesta, as he controls it well and shoots but its blocked very well by Benaglio. Best chance so far.
22:00 – Switzerland opening up just a bit and not just in this soccer match!
15:00 – Pretty much the same old story with Spain sending wave upon wave of slick passes and clever runs toward the Swiss goal, but the Swiss defenders have been prepped well and are cutting anything out before it gets too dangerous.
8:00 – Switzerland content to let Spain attack down the wings as they flood the center of the pitch to stop the quick passing of the Barcelona duo Xavi and Iniesta.
3:00 – And Howard Webb blows the first whistle with a foul on Busquets. Xavi is over it but his ball into the box is cleared.
TWEEEEEEEEEEET and Switzerland kick if off and immediately attack.
Growing up in Switzerland in the 80’s, I didn’t get much of a chance to ever see them play as they were terrible. So i watched a lot of the French, German, Spanish and Italian national teams as they were always on TV.
Now Switzerland have been in the past two cups and I have a soft spot for the land of cheese, cows, chocolate and clocks…sooooo HOPP SUISSE!
Torres and Fabregas on the bench. Why not. Who needs them? Well people, that is what is known as an embarrassment of riches.
Spain (4-1-2-3) 1-Iker Casillas; 15-Sergio Ramos, 3-Gerard Pique, 5-Carles Puyol, 11-Joan Capdevila; 16-Sergio Busquets; 8-Xavi, 14-Xabi Alonso; 21-David Silva, 7-David Villa, 6-Andres Iniesta.
Switzerland (4-4-2) 1-Diego Benaglio; 13-Stephane Grichting, 2-Stephan Lichtsteiner, 4-Philippe Senderos, 17-Reto Ziegler; 7-Tranquillo Barnetta, 8-Gokhan Inler, 6-Benjamin Huggel, 16-Gelson Fernandes; 19-Eren Derdiyok, 10-Blaise Nkufo.
And the last match of the opening round is upon us. Spain against Switzerland.