Defensive Swiss must throw caution to wind

VANDERBIJLPARK, South Africa, June 22 (Reuters) - Switzerland will have to take risks up front and score more goals, shedding their defensive style in their must-win Group H finale against Honduras, players said on Tuesday.

Smarting from a 1-0 defeat suffered at the hands of Chile, Switzerland must beat Honduras, the bottom team in the group after two defeats, and hope the other group game between Chile and Spain ends in a draw or a win for Chile.

"The game against Honduras will be a totally different game to those against Chile and Spain," defender Steve Von Bergen told a news conference at the team base camp in Vanderbijlpark.

"We have to take more risks offensively for sure, but without losing our stability in the defence," said the 27-year-old defender.

A confident Swiss coach Ottmar Hitzfeld had said he was sure a win over the Catrachos on Friday in Bloemfontein would see his side through to the next stage but a simple victory may not be enough in a tightly packed group that could end with Switzerland, Chile and Spain all on six points.

"If all three teams score six points they should all go through," joked Hitzfeld, following Switzerland's 1-0 loss to Chile on Monday. "But I know that is not going to be possible."


To secure a spot in the second round Switzerland must not only beat Honduras but look for an avalanche of goals in case their fate comes down to goal difference.

The Chileans sit top of the group with six points followed by Spain, who moved into second on three points ahead of the Swiss on goal difference with a 2-0 win over Honduras.

The offensively challenged Catrachos will find scoring difficult against Switzerland's World Cup record setting defence that was breached for the first time in 558 minutes in a 1-0 loss to Chile.

Despite seven players under the threat of a second yellow card, Swiss goalkeeper Diego Benaglio said the team could not afford to be cautious.

"It is not so good that so many players got a yellow card. We have to do everything to get to the next round, if there are one or two players who pick up a second yellow card, so be it," said Benaglio who earned a yellow card in their first match.

Hitzfeld remains convinced that his team, even with some offensive short-comings, will qualify for the second round with a win over Honduras.

"We're strong enough to beat Honduras and that's precisely what we have to get into our players' heads over the next few days," he said.