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Switzerland go out after goalless draw with Honduras

By The Assam Tribune

BLOEMFONTEIN (South Africa), June 26 (DPA) -Switzerland went out of the World Cup after being held to a goalless draw by Honduras in Bloemfontein Friday.

The Swiss needed a two-goal victory but could find no way past a Honduras side who also leave South Africa, without a goal following defeats to Chile and Spain who progress to the last 16.

Both sides had numerous chances and Honduras - who only had an outside chance of qualifying - could feel unfortunate they did not emerge winners as the game opened up into an end-to-end affair towards the end.

But it was ultimately a frustrating night for Ottmar Hitzfeld's Swiss side, who had defeated European champions Spain 1-0 but then lost 1-0 to Chile and lacked the penetration when it counted to get the goals they were looking for to go through.

"We would have liked to have stayed," said the German coach. "A game against Brazil in the next round would have been a dream for me.

"We had problems playing the ball in what was a very bad game. Perhaps we suffered under the burden of having to score two goals."

There were few clearcut chances for either side in a tentative first half. The best opportunity came for the Swiss in the 16th minute when Tranquillo Barnetto found Eren Derdiyok with a cross from the right but the striker's header bounced down and over the bar.

Honduras coach Reinaldo Rueda makes six changes to his team from the 2-0 loss to Spain, with striker Jerry Palacios joining his brother Wilson in the side, while Hitzfeld made two changes leaving captain Alexander Frei, who is not fully fit, initially on the bench.

It was Honduras, who rarely threatened before the break, who should have taken the lead eight minutes into the second half when Edgar Alvarez got round Stephane Grichting on the right and crossed for an unmarked David Suarez to head wide from close range.

As space began to open up, Honduras wasted a counter-attacking opportunity and the Swiss immediately broke but the move ended with a tame shot by Barnetta which keeper Noel Valladares dealt with comfortably.

Derdiyok, in for the suspended Valon Behrami, got in a shot straight at the keeper as the Swiss upped the tempo, and Hitzfeld then sent on record scorer Frei in the 64th minute for Blaise Nkufo.

But again it was Honduras who nearly went in front when Suarez found Alvarez on the break in the 71st minute. His shot looked to be curling in but Diego Benaglio in goal just got his hand to the ball to deflect it over the bar.

Frei could then only knock the ball over the bar under pressure while Honduras continued to find space on the counter-attack and only a last-ditch tackle from Reto Ziegler prevented Suazo getting in a shot inside the area.

There was desperation about the Swiss as they pushed forward in search of the victory they needed, while Honduras wasted a number of opportunities on the break with a poor final pass.

The Swiss could have had no complaints had Honduras grabbed the points, with another break ending with a Georgie Welcome effort just blocked by Steve von Bergen.

It was a disappointing end to coach Hitzfeld's World Cup campaign which had begun so promisingly with that upset win over Spain.

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Switzerland go out after goalless draw with Honduras

BLOEMFONTEIN (South Africa), June 26 (DPA) -Switzerland went out of the World Cup after being held to a goalless draw by Honduras in Bloemfontein Friday.

The Swiss needed a two-goal victory but could find no way past a Honduras side who also leave South Africa, without a goal following defeats to Chile and Spain who progress to the last 16.

Both sides had numerous chances and Honduras - who only had an outside chance of qualifying - could feel unfortunate they did not emerge winners as the game opened up into an end-to-end affair towards the end.

But it was ultimately a frustrating night for Ottmar Hitzfeld's Swiss side, who had defeated European champions Spain 1-0 but then lost 1-0 to Chile and lacked the penetration when it counted to get the goals they were looking for to go through.

"We would have liked to have stayed," said the German coach. "A game against Brazil in the next round would have been a dream for me.

"We had problems playing the ball in what was a very bad game. Perhaps we suffered under the burden of having to score two goals."

There were few clearcut chances for either side in a tentative first half. The best opportunity came for the Swiss in the 16th minute when Tranquillo Barnetto found Eren Derdiyok with a cross from the right but the striker's header bounced down and over the bar.

Honduras coach Reinaldo Rueda makes six changes to his team from the 2-0 loss to Spain, with striker Jerry Palacios joining his brother Wilson in the side, while Hitzfeld made two changes leaving captain Alexander Frei, who is not fully fit, initially on the bench.

It was Honduras, who rarely threatened before the break, who should have taken the lead eight minutes into the second half when Edgar Alvarez got round Stephane Grichting on the right and crossed for an unmarked David Suarez to head wide from close range.

As space began to open up, Honduras wasted a counter-attacking opportunity and the Swiss immediately broke but the move ended with a tame shot by Barnetta which keeper Noel Valladares dealt with comfortably.

Derdiyok, in for the suspended Valon Behrami, got in a shot straight at the keeper as the Swiss upped the tempo, and Hitzfeld then sent on record scorer Frei in the 64th minute for Blaise Nkufo.

But again it was Honduras who nearly went in front when Suarez found Alvarez on the break in the 71st minute. His shot looked to be curling in but Diego Benaglio in goal just got his hand to the ball to deflect it over the bar.

Frei could then only knock the ball over the bar under pressure while Honduras continued to find space on the counter-attack and only a last-ditch tackle from Reto Ziegler prevented Suazo getting in a shot inside the area.

There was desperation about the Swiss as they pushed forward in search of the victory they needed, while Honduras wasted a number of opportunities on the break with a poor final pass.

The Swiss could have had no complaints had Honduras grabbed the points, with another break ending with a Georgie Welcome effort just blocked by Steve von Bergen.

It was a disappointing end to coach Hitzfeld's World Cup campaign which had begun so promisingly with that upset win over Spain.