June 17th, 2010 10:59 EST
Spain Falls Short at the Hands of Switzerland in World Cup Soccer 2010
For you crazed and hard core World Cup Soccer fans one of dominate teams of the sport lately has been Spain. Before the match with the under dog team of Switzerland, Spain had won 12-straight matches and only had lost two games in 50 of its last matches. Switzerland with good strategy managed to beat Spain 1 " 0 in the opening game of their World Cup Soccer tournament.
The kill shot for Switzerland came at the 52nd minute mark of the game when Gelson Fernandes kicked a canon shot into the net for the score. The fans were solemnly quiet as they watched the ball slam into the net. Anyone who follows soccer or at least this year`s 2010 World Cup would have thought it would be a one-sided game from the very start with Spain supposedly being the favored team to crush anyone they faced, but not on this day.
The Head Coach of Spain, Vicente del Bosque commented, "Today wasn`t our day", He went on to say, "We have two games ahead of us. We have to find a way to win them." (Del, Bosque, V., 2010) This sounds like something a Head Coach in the NFL would say. It looks like the sport of soccer has sort of the same principles as does the National Football league does in this country. And those principles are to win, and win at no cost and no matter what. If you don`t win in the NFL you end up in the soup line eventually. This is what makes any sport so challenging, to have the win at no cost " mind set.
The score by Switzerland was a well planned out play. Eren Derdiyok of Switzerland fought his way through the tough defense of Spain. With every dribble or push of the ball came another obstacle to get through as he came closer and closer to the Goal of Spain.
Spain tried to end the advance by Switzerland early with their forwards attacking Derdiyok as he tried to pass the ball to any open player on his team that was within ten yards of the goal. As Derdiyok entered the red zone or what we call in professional football in this country inside the ten yard line, he made his way around the Spain goalie, Iker Casillas. Has he shot around the goalie like Michael Jordon used to fly around the Center in the NBA for the slam dunk, Gerard Pique of Spain tackled Derdiyok in a last second effort to steal the ball away, but Gelson Fernendes`s fast reflexes took control and booted the ball into Spain`s goal for the score and eventually what would turn out to be the winning point for Switzerland.
Even though Fernandes scored the winning goal he sounded a bit modest about it. He had this to say, "To be fair, I`m not used to scoring goals, so I was a bit surprised, it was a bit of luck." (Fernandes, G., 2010).
Switzerland`s strategy to try to level the playing field against a powerhouse team like Spain was to pull back and let the play from Spain come to them. The Head Coach of Switzerland, Ottmar Hitzfeld had this to say on how he planned to beat Spain, "If you play an attacking game against Spain, you`ll lose and suffer one goal after the next," he said. (Hitzfeld, O, 2010).
The history of the World Cup teams losing their first game was not on the side of Spain today. Only two of the last eight champions of Europe had won their opening matches at the past World Cup Soccer tournaments, they are France in 1986 and Germany in 1998. Spain had had some rough finishes in the past. They have not advanced past the World Cup Quarterfinals since 1950.
Some of the upcoming matches include:
Argentina versus South Korea, June 17 at 1:30 p.m.
Greece versus Nigeria, June 17 at 4:00 p.m.
France versus Mexico, June 17 at 8:30 p.m.
All times are South Africa time zones.
With the way Switzerland beat the powerhouse Spain in the opening games of the World Cup sets the basis for anything and everything to happen. As I have always said, any team can be any team on any given day.
Fanhouse, FIFA World Cup 2010, (http://soccer.fanhouse.com/world-cup-2010)