Swiss must switch from defence to attack

BLOEMFONTEIN, June 24 (Reuters) - Switzerland's resolute defence has won many World Cup plaudits though the focus must be on attack when the Swiss face Honduras in their last Group H game on Friday as they bid for a place in the last 16.

There are a host of possibilities heading into the final two games with leaders Chile, on six points, facing Spain on three with Switzerland, also on three, playing Honduras with none.

Ottmar Hitzfeld's Switzerland grabbed the headlines with an opening 1-0 victory over European champions Spain and briefly hogged them again, albeit before losing 1-0 to Chile, as they set a World Cup record of 558 minutes without conceding a goal.

They would enjoy another spell in the limelight with a two-goal win over Honduras and a draw would be enough if Spain lose. If both matches are drawn, Chile and Spain go through.

Honduras have a faint chance if they beat Switzerland and Spain lose to Chile, in which case they could advance on goal difference if they can overturn a four-goal deficit on Spain.

Chile have a goal difference of plus two, Spain plus one and Switzerland nought while Honduras are on minus three.

Chile, Spain and Switzerland could all finish on six points, making goal difference a key weapon and one the Swiss must make their priority against a Honduras side yet to score.


"We know that with a two-goal margin we will qualify. We do not want to depend on other results," Hitzfeld told a news conference on Wednesday.

Hitzfeld said although he would get score updates from Spain versus Chile he will not pay too much attention to them.

"I will be informed at halftime. That's enough for me and then at the end," he said.

The Swiss, who have only scored once so far, must swap a cautious defensive game for fast attacking play while also protecting seven players one booking away from a suspension.

"The game against Honduras is like a Champions League semi-final. I relish such games. These 90 minutes will be very intensive," Hitzfeld said.

Honduras, whose only other World Cup apperaance was in 1982, have struggled to create chances and the impoverished nation will put their faith in fit-again striker David Suazo.

For Switzerland, midfielder Valon Behrami will be absent through suspension after being red carded in the defeat by Chile so Tranquillo Barnetta could come into the side.

Both Group H matches kick off at 1930 BST with Chile playing Spain in Pretoria.