Switzerland wants to forget shock win over Spain

VANDERBIJLPARK, South Africa (AP) — The celebrations are over. Now Switzerland just wants to forget that it pulled off a World Cup upset by beating title favorite Spain.

The 1-0 victory in Durban on Wednesday sent shock waves around the soccer world.

"We won this game against the favorite of the tournament, but we keep the feet on the ground," striker Blaise Nkufo said Thursday.

"Nobody expected that we would beat Spain, but we did it and we have to forget this win," said Nkufo. "After today we don't want to talk about it anymore, just focus on the next game, next opponent and trying to do our best."

Defender Philippe Senderos sprained his right ankle during the game and will miss Switzerland's two remaining group matches, team doctor Cuno Wetzel said Thursday.

Senderos was substituted after 36 minutes at Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Midfielder Gelson Fernandes' goal gave Switzerland its first win over Spain in 18 attempts and an unexpected stepping stone toward qualifying for the round of 16 in South Africa.

Still, the Swiss won't let themselves get carried away thinking they've suddenly jumped to the ranks of the favorites in the tournament.

"Our objective didn't change," goalkeeper Diego Benaglio said at the team camp in Vanderbijlpark, south of Johannesburg. "This win ... is very nice, it's very good for us. But our objective is to get to the next round. We don't think now two or three matches forward. We think about the next game against Chile."

Switzerland plays Chile in Port Elizabeth on Monday before facing Honduras in its final Group H game. Spain has to regroup before taking on Honduras in Johannesburg and Chile in Pretoria.

"We knew that it would be very difficult to get a point or even to win against Spain. But I think we showed from the first minute that we believed in it," Benaglio said.

"We were fighting 95 minutes. We knew that Spain is a great team and we only have a chance if we work as a team," the Wolfsburg player said. "We took our chance and now we are in a good situation."

Switzerland was knocked out of the last tournament on penalty kicks by Ukraine in the round of 16 without conceding a goal in the tournament, and has now gone 490 minutes in the World Cup without letting one in.

Fernandes was on hand to tap in the ball against Spain, after Eren Derdiyok's surging 52nd-minute run was halted by a combination of Iker Casillas and Gerard Pique. It was only Fernandes' second goal in 24 internationals.

"To be fair, I'm not used to scoring goals, so I was a bit surprised," Fernandes said. "It was a bit of luck."

Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld said Fernandes forced his way into the World Cup squad with good performances in the qualification matches he played in. Since then, he has developed into a key member of the tightly organized team.

"Fernandes hopped onto the bandwagon very late — but he's shown great form," Hitzfeld said. "He's a very valuable player — you just love them. He plays in many positions and motivates his teammates."

The former Manchester City midfielder who now plays for Saint-Etienne in France said he is happy to play any position.

"I'm usually in defense and midfield," Fernandes said. "The manager played me on the left — I'm used to playing different positions. That's no problem for me."


Associated Press writer Mike Corder in Durban contributed to this report.