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World Cup, group stage

Spain 0 - Switzerland 1

Spain were brought down to Earth with a thump this afternoon, a 0-1 defeat at the hands of Switzerland in their opening game leaving them with no margin for error in the remaining group matches. Coming in to the tournament as one of the strong favourites, Del Bosque's side were not expected to have any problems qualifying from their group. But although they dominated play they were not able to find a way through a packed defence. Silva had an early penalty appeal turned down by referee Howard Webb, and Benaglio did well to keep out Piqué before the break after Iniesta put him through. But seven minutes after the restart the unthinkable happened when Switzerland took the lead on a rare attack, Casillas stopping Derdiyok's charge but the ball rebounding back off Piqué allowing Fernandes to score from a yard out. Del Bosque brought on Torres and Navas, but although Xabi Alonso crashed a shot against the crossbar following a set-piece corner, the Swiss defence held fast. It could have been even worse though when Derdiyok turned a shot against the post, but the damage had been done, and Spain fell to only their second defeat in two years under Don Vicente. (16.06.10)