Wednesday, June 16, 2010

World Cup: Spain v. Switzerland; Spain can pass very well

Spain v. Switzerland
  • After 15 minutes: Spain have had 77% of possession so far but not a shot on net (but then two in the space of two minutes, neither threatening). Spain have just passed the ball around midfield and defence, never really getting in behind the Swiss backline.
  • Defensive midfielder (DM) Sergio Busquets' specialty is falling over after losing possession in order to get a freekick. The count is at 1 so far.
  • 24th minute: Good chance for Pique in the box, well saved by the Swiss keeper.
  • 27: First real chance for the Swiss on a freekick: Iker Casillas fumbles the dangerous shot but grabs the loose ball.
  • Swiss (and ex-Arsenal) defender Senderos looks like he's injured his ankle.
  • 30: Freekick for Spain right at the top of the box after a dangerous run by Iniesta: into the wall at waist-height by David Villa. Waste is right.
  • 38: The match has really slowed down; lots of fouls. I don't like Spain's chances of scoring before the half.
  • 40: Possession is down to 68% for Spain. Worrying...
  • Ramos again passes back to Xavi and stays put. I wonder if coach Del Bosque has told him to stay put in defence.
  • Spain look frustrated. They're certainly having more trouble breaking down the Swiss than they did Poland.
  • 44: Finally a real chance when Spain break with speed. Villa looks in scoring position but oddly chooses to chip the keeper, missing the net by miles.
  • Dear Spain: I'm actually looking forward to the half so I can do the dishes.
Second half:
  • This new Jabulani ball really seems to fly off the boots. Xabi Alonso just put one fifty feet over the crossbar.
  • 49: Great move by Iniesta puts David Silva in a great position in the box, but he's dispossessed all too easily when he should have shot. Silva has struggled.
  • 52: Switzerland score!!!! Horrible defending as the Swiss break from a goal kick. Casillas did well but the ball fell kindly to Gelson Fernandes (who you might think is Spanish but you'd be wrong; he's from Cape Verde, a former Portuguese colony off the west coast of Africa).
  • 60: Good pressure from Spain leads to a few chances.
  • 61: Silva and Busquets off for golden boy Fernando Torres and speedy winger Jesus Navas. Looks like Del Bosque has decided a dedicated DM isn't needed against a team that is only going to defend.
  • 65: Immediate results as Iniesta has a great chance that bounces wide. Navas then combines with Torres for a decent chance.
  • 68: Great chance for Torres as Spain break quickly: he puts the ball high and wide. I've picked him as the top scorer, so he better get his shooting boots on.
  • 70: Alonso's shot hits the crossbar from a corner! Navas looks dangerous running at the Swiss defenders, and has a decent shot.
  • 73: First yellow card; Howard Webb has done a good job of refereeing today.
  • 75: Nearly another for the Swiss as forward Derdiyok puts one off the post.
  • 76: Barcelona's young striker/winger Pedro on for teammate Iniesta, who looks injured. Pedro had a great season for Barca; this will be his first tournament with the national team.
  • 83: Spain break but Torres wastes possession. Navas then sends a cross right into the Swiss defender. Alonso wastes a freekick. They'll have to do better.
  • 86: My recording is jumping all over the place. Maybe that's why Chris gave the PVR away so easily.
  • 87: Torres puts a shot 50 feet over the crossbar, then kicks the ball away when almost in alone.
  • 89: I'm tense. This is my team (other than North Korea, of course), if that's possible.
  • 90: Five minutes of stoppage time; I can't remember a significant injury or time wasting. Pedro wastes a corner. The Swiss waste some time (the keeper gets a card).
  • 94: Villa clears from a Spanish freekick. That was a poor choice.
  • 95: And that's that. The Swiss beat Spain for the first time in 19 tries. We've got our first big upset. Group H is thrown wide open.
Torres was in no position to be striking poses this game. 24 shots on goal for the Spanish and 67% possession meant nothing in the end. I feel like I'm back watching Arsenal.

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