Defensive Swiss preparing switch to attack

PORT ELIZABETH, June 22 (Reuters) - Switzerland will undergo a World Cup makeover for their must-win Group H finale against Honduras, shedding their conservative, defensive style for an offensive approach.

A confident Swiss coach Ottmar Hitzfeld said he is sure a win over the Catrachos on Friday in Bloemfontein will 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.

"Every goal counts and at the end of the day we can just feel very lucky that we did not lose 2-0 or 3-0 today because we had to take our chances.

"We've got to come to terms with this defeat. We'll have to assess this match and analyse this game and then regenerate as quickly as we can.

"Then we'll have to look forward."


To secure a spot in the second round Switzerland must not only beat Honduras but the Alpiners will be looking for an avalanche of goals should their fate come 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 win over Honduras.

Beaten 2-0 by Spain and 1-0 by Chile, Honduras anchor the bottom of the group still chasing their first goal.

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.

But preventing goals will not be the main focus for the Swiss, who will have to do their best Brazilian imitations and produce some uncharacteristic offensive pizzazz against the Hondurans if they hope to reach the next stage.

While there are no sure things at a World Cup, Hitzfeld is certain of one - that his team, even with some offensive short-comings, will qualify for the second round with a win over Honduras.

"We've still got excellent opportunities to qualify for the round of 16. I'm sure if we win the match against the Hondurans we'll qualify for the round of 16," a confident Hitzfeld told reporters following Switzerland's 1-0 loss to Chile on Monday.

"I'm always an optimist, I'm always confident.

"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."