Spain V/S Switzerland
Switzerland shocked the European champions with a 1-0 win over them. This is certainly one of the shocks of this world cup as Spain is one of the favorites for this world cup. Spain controlled the match totally with huge percentage of possession and attacking play. However, they were unable to find their way past a resilient Switzerland team for a goal. Spain started the match with David villa as lone striker. In the 21st minute Iniesta had a shot saved by Swiss goalkeeper Benaglio. In the 24th minute, Iniesta gave a great ball to Pique and Benaglio saved his shot from close range. In the 26th minute, Casillas saved a free kick from Ziegler.
Despite having major portion of the possession, Spanish attempts at goal were far and few in between due to the tight defensive set up of Swiss. Iniesta was well marked and he was targeted with repeated tackles throughout the match. Swiss tactics to break down the attack of Spain at the middle of the pitch was a success. Due to series of fouls, Spain was not able to get any sort of rhythm in their attack. In the first half, Spain had only three shots on goal compared to Switzerland’s one. In the 36th minute, Von Bergen replaced Senderos as he struggled with an injury. In the 44th minute, Iniesta provided Villa with a great ball .After outsmarting the defender; villa got into a nice position and chipped the ball agonizingly wide off the target.
In the second half, pain continued to dominate with its short passing. However, in the 52nd minute, Switzerland scored a goal from nowhere with a counter attack. Derdiyok shot the ball towards the goal after the moves started with a long ball from Swiss half and it somehow deflected off Casillas who came too far in front to save. However, the Spanish defenders failed to clear the ball as Gelson Fernandes somehow managed to get the ball roll past the goal line. In the 57th minute, Swiss keeper saved a shot from Villa. Xavi, Alonso, and Iniesta orchestrated the Spanish attack as they tried to sneak in a goal to level the scores. With half an hour to play, Spain introduced Torres and Navas to bring fresh energy into their attack. Torres with his pace did trouble Swiss defenders. He shot some balls off the target.
In the 71st minute, pain had a glimpse at goal for a moment as Alonso’s thunder shot hit the woodwork agonizingly. Navas induced a saved from Benaglio with a shot in the 72nd minute. Derdiyok dribbled past two Spanish defenders and almost had an open goal to aim at, and his measured shot somehow hit the post and deflected back. Huggel tried to score from that, but his show was blocked. In the 77th minute, Pedro replaced injured Iniesta. In the 78th minute, Navas saw his shot missing the post by inches. In the 93rd minute Xavi had a shot saved by Benaglio. That summed up the fate of Spain in this match. Switzerland finally found some luck to clinch its first win against Spain in 18 matches. Though Switzerland was not able to get much possession or attack, they sticked to their defensive tactics to the perfection and it reaped them reward. Spain has to win next two matches to see their chances to progress to the next round.