Switzerland 0-0 Honduras

The Swiss caused a major shock defeating Spain in their opening encounter but all that early promise evaporated in Bloemfontein


German coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has a club CV that is the envy of all managers, having collected 19 major titles during his career, but he has was unable to translate that magic to the international arena as Switzerland were left wondering what might have been as they wasted a glorious opportunity to prevent either Spain or Chile from progressing.

The equation for the Swiss was straightforward enough, a victory by a two-goal margin would have made whatever happened in the other Group H game irrelevant, but Switzerland barely managed a shot in anger.

Hitzfeld's side may well have struck a World Cup record of 558 minutes without conceding a goal in their previous game against Chile, but when the onus was on them to produce an attacking performance, they displayed a woeful lack of flair and imagination, even with the second half arrival of veterans Alexander Frei and Hakan Yakin.

Of the few opportunities they did manage to create, striker Eren Derdiyok produced a weak shot straight at Honduras 'keeper Noel Valladares to follow a poor header from only six yards early in the first half.

After two games as underdogs against Spain and Chile, Hitzfeld believed his side would be able to cope with favouritism in their final game, but he was left a frustrated figure as Honduras avoided becoming only the third team to exit the finals without scoring a goal or a point.

Only Saudi Arabia and China have been knocked out without scoring a goal and without a point, in Japan and South Korea eight years ago.

Honduras did not manage to break their goal drought, as they recorded their eighth game without a win and seventh without scoring, but at least they answered the call from coach Reinaldo Rueda to restore some national pride.

Honduras avoided that embarrassment, but it could have been even better. Only a brilliant second half save from Diego Benaglio prevented Anthony Alvarez from sending Honduras home with a victory, which would have merely rubbed salt in the Swiss' wounds.


Switzerland (4-4-2): Benaglio; Lichsteiner, Grichting, Von Bergen, Ziegler; Huggel (Shaqiri 78),Barnetta, Inler, Fernandes (Yakin 46); Nkufo (Frei 69), Derdiyok.

Honduras (4-4-2): Valladares; Sabillon, Chavez, Bernardez, Figueroa; Alvarez, W Palacios, ThomasNunez (Martinez 66); Jerry Palacios (Welcome 78), Suazo 5 (Turcios 86).

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