Swiss celebrate in uncharacteristic style

GENEVA - The Swiss, known for their reserve, exploded with joy at their World Cup team's upset 1-0 win over Spain on Wednesday, pouring into the streets and snarling up traffic in major cities in the Alpine country.

Many fans had expected the Swiss team, known affectionately as the "Nati", would be trounced by pre-tournament favourites and European champions Spain.

But the intrepid Swiss players shut out Spain 1-0 in Durban, the first time Switzerland have beaten them in 19 matches, sparking public celebrations despite the rain and leading Swiss media to crow.

"Without doubt, the Swiss have just written the most beautiful chapter in their history," Swiss television TSR's correspondent in Durban, Philippe Von Burg, declared on the evening news, largely devoted to the match.

"Sensation!," screamed the front-page of the tabloid Blick which quoted Berne fan Tobias Spinnler as saying: "This day is better than Christmas."

Massimo Lorenzi, head of the TSR sports service, commented: "The hard part is over and the next two matches are to play for. I hope this country will believe in the team now."

Michel Pont, assistant Swiss coach to Ottmar Hitzfeld, told Swiss television: "After beating Spain it would be a real shame to lose against Chile and Honduras. Let's stay calm and very serene. I've always dreamed of getting past the first round."

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