World Cup Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, June 25, 2010
(All times Eastern)
Switzerland (1-1-0) vs. Honduras (0-2-0), 2:30 p.m.
Bloemfontein, South Africa (Sports Network) - Switzerland defender Steve Von
Bergen admitted the team was "angry" after a loss to Chile on Monday, when a
red card to Valon Behrami proved too much for the Swiss to overcome.
Switzerland held off Chile until the 75th minute, when Mark Gonzalez snapped
the European side's World Cup record streak of 558 minutes without allowing a
The Swiss slumped to a 1-0 loss, but remain in contention for a knockout round
berth entering its final Group H game Friday against Honduras. Switzerland got
three points in its opener, a 1-0 upset of tournament favorite Spain.
Although Honduras also retains some hope of advancing, Ottmar Hitzfeld's Swiss
side has a much more realistic chance. Chile plays Spain in the other match in
Group H on Friday.
Switzerland is level on points with Spain, which beat Honduras 2-0 in its next
match, and with a win or tie and the right result between Spain and Chile will
"We were completely thrown by the red card. We're angry at the moment," said
Von Bergen following the Chile loss, "but we're still in with a great chance."
Switzerland's shutout streak dated back to the 1994 knockout stage, when Txiki
Begiristain scored the last goal in Spain's 3-0 win. The Swiss were eliminated
four years ago without allowing a goal when they lost to Ukraine in penalties.
Hitzfeld was already without central defender Philippe Senderos due to injury,
and now has to field a team with suspended midfielder Behrami.
Striker Alexander Frei did provide a boost against Chile, as the captain made
his first appearance of this World Cup despite an ankle injury.
Hitzfeld remains optimistic entering the finale against the Central Americans,
as long as his side isn't impacted too much by the loss to Chile.
"I'm upbeat about our meeting with Honduras," Hitzfeld said. "We'll put this
defeat behind us and recover as quickly as we can."
Honduras heads to Free State Stadium with a slim chance to advance, but needs
a win over Switzerland and for Chile to beat Spain, in addition to overturning
a sizable deficit in goal differential.
"If Chile win then we've got a chance. We're going to keep working right until
the end to try and make it through," Honduras defender Osman Chavez said.
The Hondurans have failed to score in their first two matches, the first being
a 1-0 loss to Chile, and were lucky to avoid a more lopsided loss to Spain.
However, "all is not lost yet," Honduras forward David Suazo said.
Honduras manager Reinaldo Rueda expects a difficult match against Switzerland,
but even if his side fails to advance, would like to end the tournament with a
"We'll now have to see if the players can bounce back mentally and go out and
give their all to end on a high for the good of Honduran football," Rueda
06/24 15:21:22 ET