Spain stunned by Switzerland 1-0

Posted: June 16, 2010 in Soccer

Durban, South Africa-

Many (myself included) believe that this is the year for Spain to finally hoist the World Cup, something “La Furia Roja” has yet to do it its national soccer team’s history.

Having said that, Spain did not get off to the start that they were hoping for. Rather than coming out of their opening match against Switzerland with 3 points, as was expected, Spanish players and fans alike were left shaking their heads, wondering what went wrong.

The two teams came out strong, though it was mostly a match up of Spain’s pass-happy offense against the defensive-minded Swiss. While Spain did make the defense look like Swiss cheese at some points, they were unable to solve Goalkeeper Diego Benaglio and the score remained 0-0 at halftime.

In the 52nd minute, Swiss midfielder Gelson Fernandes beat Iker Casillas after Casillas came out of his net to block the pass, sending shock throughout Durban (and the rest of the world for that matter).

Spain unleashed a fury of shots on Diego Benaglio, but nothing could get by him, not even a screamer off of the foot of Xabi Alonso that caught the crossbar.

The Swiss did not allow a single goal in the last World Cup back in 2006 (they lost to Ukraine in the round of 16 in a penalty shootout.) so it was not much of a surprise that their defense was going to be one of the keys of the match.

For Spain, this was the second straight year they were upset in a FIFA tournament, losing in the semi-finals of last year’s Confederation’s Cup, also held in South Africa, to the United States. “La Furia Roja” will look to rebound against Honduras on Monday (2:30 et, ESPN). The Swiss will face Chile, also on Monday (10 am et, ESPN).

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