Pelota helvetica

I missed the Ivory Coast/Japan game (second one I've totally missed) late Saturday night.  I'm shocked to see that Cote d'Ivoire won without Yaya Toure on the score sheet.

I did see all three games yesterday, though, starting with Switzerland and Ecuador.  With Switzerland ranked sixth, and Ecuador twenty-sixth, I expected a comfortable and confident win from the Swiss.

But the game was tight, through its entirety, with neither team able to really dominate possession (did the Swiss get where they are via counterattack, maybe?).  And both teams managed to generate a number of chances.  Unfortunately, I missed the Ecuadoran goal in the 22nd minute and the Swiss goal in the 48th due to in-room distractions (better known as children).

It was a pretty sloppy game, though, with a lot of careless turnovers by both teams.

One thing I was looking forward to was watching Shaqiri play for Switzerland.  I'd seen him playing in a UEFA Cup game (for FC Basel, maybe?), and was really impressed (especially as he's built more like a linebacker than a midfielder).  He didn't have a great game, yesterday; not terrible, but he wasn't driving play forward.

Regardless of that, the game stayed tied all the way to stoppage time of the second, when Seferovic (I wonder how Switzerland has ended up with so many eastern european players) cut across the goal to deflect a pass into the net.  It was a very nice goal, although I must admit that I was sure Seferovic was offsides, but the refs didn't see it that way (and they never showed a replay where you could be certain).

It was quite the job of snatching victory from the jaws of indecision.  I imagine that'll be good enough to move Switzerland on, but both their remaining games should be interesting.  France because they're both good sides, and Honduras because they're so physical.  I wouldn't expect physical play to get even noticed by a few of the Swiss, including Shaqiri.

And Ecuador?  They're toast; only question is if they'll be able to go home with a win by beating Honduras.  But they should be proud of playing such a close game against a top-notch team.  I guess, if it wasn't a fluke due to poor play by Switzerland, they might be able to give France a run for its money.

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