BLOEMFONTEIN -Switzerland and Honduras
drew 0-0 in their final Group H game with chances missed at both
ends as the two sides were eliminated from the World Cup.
Switzerland, who had beaten European champions Spain in
their opener, could have reached the second round with victory
over the Central Americans but rarely looked like scoring.
GEAR: Get a Swiss shirt
In the end, they finished with just one goal scored and one
conceded in their three games. Honduras finished bottom of the
group and failed to score in the tournament.
Spain, who beat Chile 2-1 in
Pretoria, finished top and will
while the Chileans came second and face Brazil.
The Swiss, despite being more physically imposing, were very
disappointing and strangely displayed a lack of zest given the
high stakes while Honduras played the more attractive football.
"We are very disappointed, not just me, the players,
everybody," said Switzerland's German coach Ottmar Hitzfeld. "We
had great ambitions for this match. It was too much of burden
for them and it got more so during the game.
"We got more nervous and failed to pass properly. We did
have some opportunities but not great opportunities. I'm not
happy with our midfield or our forwards.
"We haven't lived up to our expectations. We failed to
deliver because we had too much pressure. We had to score twice.
It is a huge disappointment for me. We didn't have the stamina,
we didn't have the perseverance."
"We were lucky Honduras failed to finish their
counter-attacks properly. The defence was excellent. We had to
open up but the defence was excellent."
In truth, Honduras, for whom Ramon Nunez looked dangerous,
unlocked the much-vaunted Swiss defence often and better
finishing would have seen them a goal or two up by halftime.
"I think the players knew well the importance of this last
game. They knew what this game meant for the nation," said
Honduras coach Reinaldo Rueda.
"They really showed their courage and brought everything
they had. We shouldn't have waited until the last match to show
our talents, we should have done it in the first match."
Honduras started well but the first chance of the game went
to the Swiss when captain Gokhan Inler shot wide from just
outside the penalty area in the 10th minute.
Chances went begging at both ends. In the 38th, Wilson
Palacios raced through the middle but was dragged down by Gelson
Fernandes, who earned a yellow card for his efforts.
The best chance of the half fell to Swiss striker Blaise
Nkufo just before the break, who chested down a cross from Eren
Derdiyok a metre from goal only for the ball to bobble away.
After the break Honduras threatened when striker David Suazo
failed to put away a diving header in the 52nd which would have
given them a deserved lead.
Hakan Yakin, on for Fernandes, should have done better in
the 59th but shot tamely. Tranquillo Barnetta and Derdiyok also
both wasted good chances when well-placed in the Honduran box.
Likewise at the other end, Edgard Alvarez wasted a good
opportunity with only goalkeeper Diego Benaglio to beat.
Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld brought on team captain
Alexander Frei for Nkufo in the 69th minute but he could not
break the deadlock as the match finished goalless.
Follow FFT.com on Twitter
Join FFT.com on Facebook
Bayern fans snap up 45,000 tickets to watch Champions League final live at Allianz Arena
When Sir Alex wakes up on Monday morning without team to manage, he will not be putting his feet up
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder announces he will be retiring at the end of the current season
Record goal-scorer signs a one-year contract extension with Europa League winners Chelsea
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010