Chile, Switzerland play key Group H match
Chile and Switzerland - two teams with opening 1-0 wins - meet tomrrow knowing that a win for either would be as good as a ticket to the round of 16 at the World Cup.
Port Elizabeth: Chile and
Switzerland - two teams with opening 1-0 wins - meet tomrrow
knowing that a win for either would be as good as a ticket to
the round of 16 at the World Cup.
Switzerland`s surprising victory over Spain - its first
in 18 attempts - and Chile`s win over Honduras by the same
score threw Group H wide open and left Spain, one of the title
favorites, with a tougher road to the last 16.
"Nobody expected that we would beat Spain, but we did it
and we have to forget this win," said Swiss striker Blaise
Nkufo. "We don`t want to talk about it anymore, just focus on
the next game, next opponent."
Midfielder Jean Beausejour, who scored Chile`s goal, said
his side will have to change its focus against Switzerland for
the game at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
"Honduras gave us the responsibility of trying to win the
game, we were the ones looking to get a result," Beausejour
said. "Against Switzerland, that`s going to change a bit.
They`ve got a potent counterattack and it`s going to be a very
There is no question about Switzerland`s ability to
defend - it has now gone 490 minutes across this World Cup and
the 2006 one without conceding a goal. It was knocked out of
the last tournament on penalties by Ukraine in the round of
Switzerland`s attempt to keep that scoreless streak alive
will be harmed by the loss of key defender Philippe Senderos,
who sprained his right ankle against Spain and will also miss
Switzerland`s last group match against Honduras.
Concerns over the state of the field at Nelson Mandela
Bay Stadium forced revised training sessions and arrival times
for the teams.
FIFA officials said that the field, waterlogged from
three days of rain earlier this week, held up well after
Serbia`s 1-0 win over Germany on Friday. But they don`t want
Chile and Switzerland to train at the stadium on Sunday.
Switzerland will train at a university ground in Port
Elizabeth on Sunday afternoon. It had initially said it would
hold a training session at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.
Chile planned to train at its Nelspruit base on Sunday
before flying to Port Elizabeth on Sunday evening, less than
24 hours ahead of the Monday afternoon match.
Chile is hoping to have Humberto Suazo, the leading
scorer in South American qualifying, back from a left thigh
injury for the match.