World Championships: Spain vs. Switzerland

On the face of it – this was an impossible match for Switzerland. Spain is ranked #1, and Switzerland is… not.

During the first half of the match, I was just crossing my fingers that Switzerland could hold the 0 to the half time.  The toying the Spaniards did with the ball furthered my belief that Switzerland’s mission was basically to defend itself against them, once they decided to move the playing ahead to the goal area.

But it did not happen.

Gelson Fernandes, who despite the Spanish sounding last name is a Swiss player, tumbled the ball into the Spanish goal at the 52nd minute.

From then on, the Swiss appeared rejuvenated, and the Spanish desperate.  The Spanish had the most kicks towards the goal, but were ultimately successful.

It’s good to be a fan of Switzerland today.

Switzerland in the World Cup?

After last night’s round of matches… there is only one round of matches left in the European world cup preliminaries. Some teams have definitely qualified, of which Denmark is one. (Things were a bit crazy in Copenhagen before the match, including Swedish and Danish hooligans crashing on the main street.)

Norway is definitely out.

It is just my luck that Switzerland is in one of the two groups where it is still not clear who will go to South Africa next year. (In the other group Slovakia and Slovenia are battling for the top spot, which is out of reach for the Czech republic.)

As far as my limited football understanding goes: Switzerland is in the World Cup if they a) beat Israel (in which case they will end with 23 points) or b) tie with Israel in the final match. (in which case they will end with 21 points). As it is, they are currently standing with 20 points, and Greece has 17 points

Should they lose to Israel, they will depend on Luxembourg beating Greece, or a tie. If Greece beats Luxembourg, and the Swiss lose to Israel – they will stand even at 20 points. In which case, Greece will finish first, and Switzerland second.  (A whole ‘nother ball game comes into play for second place should Greece lose to Luxembourg. The Swiss would qualify, but the second place might go to Latvia.)

At any rate, the Swiss have secured at least a second place in the group, granting them the play-off chance, if they should not get the first spot and automatic qualification.

Anxiously awaiting Wednesday’s matches.

Football

We’re getting into the last matches of the World Cup Qualifying stretch now. For those of you without a clue as to what I’m talking about, the sport is football or soccer, and the World Cup will take place next year, in South Africa.Tonight is another round of matches.

Some teams have already qualified, the Netherlands being one of them, and some are totally out of the running, Luxembourg being one of them. But other teams still have a chance – and one of those are Switzerland.

Despite being rather unashamedly patriotic and Norwegian, especially when it comes to sport, I cheer for Switzerland at football. (Of course, should Norway and Switzerland meet, I would probably cheer for Norway. Probably.)

I am frequently asked why I do that – most others, when they root for something besides their own national team tend to lean towards the teams that tend to win. England, France, Brazil, Italy, Portugal, and so on.

The thing is, if you’re rooting for someone you’re anticipating to win, in my view, you’ll often end up disappointed. Whereas when I root for the underdog, which Switzerland is most of the time in the football world, any victory is a great triumph – and a tie works well, too.

I started rooting for the Swiss squad during the World cup in Germany. Norway had not qualified, yet again, and if there is one thing I like when watching a championship – it is having someone to cheer for.

My second choice, after Norway, was Denmark, but they had also failed to qualify… And the same with Scotland. Instead I started my pondering.

And I ended up with Switzerland. The only problem with following Switzerland is that the qualifying matches are not airing on television anywhere near me, so I’m missing out on a bit of the fun with it.

But at least I have the good results to rely on. (Defeat to Luxembourg nonewithstanding.) So far, they’re in the lead of group 2, but both Greece and Latvia are breathing down their necks.

I’m looking forward to the final matches. As well as crossing my fingers that things go Switzerland’s way.