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Shock Switzerland win hits Spain World Cup hopes

| 16.06.2010

The 2010 World Cup was blown wide open as Switzerland beat Spain 1-0 in one of the biggest upsets in recent history.

Switzerland took a shock lead when Gelson Fernandes bundled the ball in from six yards after a mix-up in Spain’s defence.

The setback rattled the Euro 2008 champions, who were denied a superb goal when Xabi Alonso’s thunderbolt cannoned off the bar. They also went close through Andres Iniesta and Jesus Navas.

Eren Derdiyok then almost doubled Switzerland’s advantage when he hit the post having weaved his way through Spain’s static defenders.

Spain controlled the first half as they enjoyed a monopolising share of possession, yet despite their superior ball retention, the first half ended goalless.

Without the ball, Switzerland were ineffectual in attack during the first half. Although their share of possession was scarcely better in the second period, they crucially converted one chance and defended their lead heroically.

This result could have huge ramifications for Group H. Spain, who were expected to breeze through as winners, will now have to beat Chile (impressive in their 1-0 against Honduras) to win the group.

Even if Spain qualify for the last 16 in second place, they could be in trouble as probable Group G winners Brazil would be their second round opponents.

A major blow to Spain’s World Cup hopes, the defeat again casts doubts over Spain’s mettle for world football’s showpiece event, even after their Euro 2008 triumph.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.