Soccer Night In South Africa: Upset Special

With Group H seeing action for the first time today, all 32 teams have now taken the pitch at the 2010 World Cup. There were some dominant performances today. Shockingly, one of those performances didn’t translate to a win and we saw the first major upset of the tournament.

Honduras 0 vs. Chile 1 – This seems to be the year for long streaks to end. Chicago won a Stanley Cup. The same car owner won the Daytona 500 and Indy 500 in the same year. And Chile won its first World Cup game in 48 years today. It was Jean Beausejour who tipped home a pass in the 34th minute to put the Chileans ahead. Chile spent most of the game on the attack. They controlled possession during the match and threw almost three times as many shots toward the goal as the Hondurans. After the day’s second game, Chile might just be considered favourites in this group.

Spain 0 vs. Switzerland 1 – It was an absolutely dominant effort by the Spanish. The popular favourite to take home this year’s World cup had three times as many shots as the Swiss and had possession of the ball for nearly two-thirds of the game. But stats and attempts don’t equal results. It was the underdog Swiss who pulled off the unbelievable upset. It was an ugly goal that allowed them to notch a victory. Eren Deridiyok and Gelson Fernandes charged the Spanish goal with Deridiyok being up ended and a Fernandes shot appearing to be stopped by a defender’s arm. The ref said play on and Fernandes slammed the ball home for the first and only goal of the game. Spain was dominant despite the loss and should still go through to the knockout stage. They’ve got to seal the deal in their next two games though.

South Africa 0 vs. Uruguay 3 – Home field advantage will only get you so far. Bafana Bafana got a shocking upset draw against the Mexicans in the fist game of the tournament but were nowhere near finding that level of inspiration today. An astounding goal by Diego Floran in the 25th minute that grazed the crossbar was enough to silence the South African crowd. Floran had a second marker from the penalty spot when South African keeper Itumeleng Khune was given a straight red for taking down Luis Suarez in the box. Uruguay got a third goal off an Alvaro Pereira header five minutes into stoppage time. It was thoroughly dominant victory by Uruguay and South Africa will need loads of luck not to become the first host to not advance from the group stage of the World Cup.

Man of the Day: Gelson Fernandes (Switzerland) – 1 goal

Group H Standings
1. Switzerland 1-0-0, 3 Pts.
2. Chile 1-0-0, 3 Pts.
3. Honduras 0-0-1, 0 Pts.
4. Spain 0-0-1, 0 Pts.

Group A Standings
1. Uruguay 1-1-1, 4 Pts.
2. Mexico 0-1-0, 1 Pts.
3. France 0-1-0, 1 Pts.
4. South Africa 0-1-1, 1 Pts.

Thursday Schedule:
Group B: Argentina (1-0-0) vs. South Korea (1-0-0)
Group B: Greece (0-0-1) vs. Nigeria (0-0-1)
Group A: France (0-1-0) vs. Mexico (0-1-0)

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