ESP 0 – 1 SUI: Switzerland upset tournament favourites Spain

Switzerland have caused the first major upset of the 2010 World Cup by defeating favourites Spain 1-0 in Durban.

Group H
Spain: 0
Switzerland: 1 (Gelson Fernandes 52’)

Venue: Durban Stadium – Durban
Crowd: 62,453
Referee: Howard Webb (ENG)
Yellow cards: ESP - nil
SUI - Stephane Grichting 30’, Reto Ziegler 73’, Diego Benaglio 90+1’, Hakan Yakin 90+4'

Spain looked sharp in the opening quarter of an hour but were up against a Swiss outfit focused on defence and it took until the 17th minute for there to be a shot on goal which came from David Silva before Sergio Ramos followed up moments later.

In the 24th minute, Swiss keeper Diego Benaglio was called on to make a superb save when Gerard Pique was played in by Andres Iniesta but after sidestepping Stephane Grichting, the Barcelona defender’s shot was deflected to safety.

Switzerland were providing nothing up forward and were forced to constantly foul the Spanish players who were enjoying plenty more possession throughout the goalless first half.

Against the run of play, Switzerland managed to take the lead in the 52nd minute when they played quick ball upfield to Eren Derdiyok who knocked it past Spanish keeper Iker Casillas with Gelson Ferandes bundling it over the line.

A double substitution after the hour-mark saw Vicente del Bosque throw Fernando Torres and Jesus Navas into the fray and the Liverpool star immediately had an impact on the match with some clever running to through-balls but it was Xabi Alonso who came the closest to equalising with about 20 minutes remaining when he sweetly struck a long range drive which had Benaglio beaten but could not sneak under the crossbar.

Shortly after, Spain were lucky not to concede a second goal when Derdiyok got past Pique then Carles Puyol and although his stabbed shot beat Casillas, it was denied by the upright.

Spain were still chasing a point right up until the final whistle but the Swiss denied them at every opportunity and recorded a famous victory – their first ever against the might of the Spaniards.

Starting Line-Ups

Iker Casillas (gk), Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol, Andres Iniesta (Pedro 77’), David Villa, Xavi, Joan Capdevila, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets (Torres 62’), David Silva (Navas 62’)

Subs - Fernando Torres (62’), Jesus Navas (62’), Pedro (77’)

Diego Benaglio (gk), Stephan Lichtsteiner, Philippe Senderos (von Bergen 36’), Benjamin Huggel, Tranquillo Barnetta (Eggimann 90+2’), Gokhan Inler, Blaise Nkufo, Stephane Grichting, Gelson Fernandes, Reto Ziegler, Eren Derdiyok (Yakin 79’)

Subs - Steve von Bergen (36’), Hakan Yakin (79’), Mario Eggimann (90+2’)

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