Cuckoo Shock!


Photo: Swiss Football Association

See a Blaise Nkufo Photo Gallery from the Game against Spain

Switzerland have produced the World Cup shock of the tournament so far by beating European Champions Spain 1-0. It was Switzerland’s first ever victory over Spain at the 19th attempt.

Gelson Fernandes who plays for St Etienne in France pounced on a loose ball in the Spanish six yard box in the 52nd minute to relieve and nullify the hitherto almost incessant Spanish possession and pressure. The ball fell at his feet after it cannoned off a tumbling Eren Derdiyok into his path.

Switzerland’s resolute defence was especially laudable after the early loss of Everton’s Philippe Senderos who had to be replaced by Steve von Bergen after failing to recover from an early knock.

Spain had 24 shots, eight of them on goal, but failed to produce any notable saves from Swiss keeper Diego Benaglio. Fernando Torres came on as a substitute and hit the cross bar in the 68th minute but that was as close as Spain came to piercing a tight Swiss defence.

It could have been far worse for Spain as Eren Derdiyok hit the Spanish post in the 74th minute after some superb trickery in the Spanish box.

Spain now have to become just the fourth team in 37 to lose their opening game and progress, since the finals was expanded to 32 teams.

Switzerland who, on top of losing Senderos early, were also without Alexander Frei and Valon Behrami, now have a fantastic chance of qualification if they can avoid defeat against Chile who beat Honduras 1-0 earlier today.

Spain: Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol, Joan Capdevila, Sergio Busquets, Xavi, Xabi Alonso, David Silva, David Villa, Andres Iniesta.

Switzerland: Diego Benaglio, Stephane Grichting, Stephan Lichsteiner, Phillippe Senderos, Reto Ziegler, Tranquillo Barnetta, Gokhan Inler, Benjamin Huggel, Gelson Fernandes, Eren Derdiyok, Blaise Nkufo.

Attendance: 62,453

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