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Spain's debut and much more...

After North Korea's sterling display against Brazil yesterday, Switzerland are today's big underdogs as they try to pinch points off the European champions Spain. They've got their work cut out though, as was evidenced by Spain's six-goal humbling of Poland last week.

Honduras and Chile get the action under way with what appears to be an absolutely intriguing clash of systems and styles. Hosts South Africa then return for the evening slot as they continue their quest for a place in the second round against Oscar Tabarez's Uruguay.

Today's Schedule

Honduras - Chile Wednesday, June 15, 2010 - 13:30 local time
  • Preview: Chile have won eight of their last ten matches
  • Honduras go in search of their first ever World Cup victory
  • Chile coach Marcelo Bielsa was in charge of Argentina in 2002
Spain - Switzerland Wednesday, June 15, 2010 - 16:00 local time
  • Preview: Spain have won 15 of the 18 meetings between these two
  • Switzerland have not won their opening match since 1954
  • The European champions have won 33 out of their last 34 competitive games
South Africa - UruguayWednesday, June 15, 2010 - 20:30 local time
  • Preview: These two countries meet for only the third time in history
  • Hosts South Africa are on a 13-game unbeaten run
  • Uruguay's last World Cup victory came in 1990
Five Players To Watch Today

Keep an eye out for these ones...

Alexis SANCHEZ

Chile
Quick, direct and full of tricks, Alexis Sanchez is one of the focal points of the Chilean attack. One of the many South Americans imported by Italian side Udinese, Sanchez has made the grade at the Friuli.
XAVI

Spain
Despite playing in a slightly more advanced position than at club level, Xavi is a master of ball retention and penetrative play. His touch and poise make him a constant threat in the middle of the field.
Gokhan INLER

Switzerland
The tough and uncompromising Inler is a key figure the Swiss midfield. His robust and assured performances have won him suitors at Udinese, and his tenacious style will be critical against the Spanish, who are likely to outnumber Switzerland in midfield.
Teko MODISE

South Africa
Composed and skillful, Modise is principal to South Africa's attacking play. South African Footballer of the Year in 2008 and 2009, the clever midfielder offers creation and goal threat courtesy of his excellent technical attributes.
Luis SUAREZ

Uruguay
Given his quite remarkable scoring record at club for Ajax, Suarez is a difficult player to ignore. Averaging about three goals every four games, the precocious forward plays from the left for his club, but will start alongside Diego Forlan in Uruguay's attack.

Did You Know...?

Fun Fact:
Switzerland midfielder Gelson Fernandes decided to take up football after being inspired by his father's work as a groundsman at Swiss Super League side Sion.

   22 
The number of attempts at goal by Brazil as they squeezed past North Korea yesterday.
10,227

The number of days that New Zealand had to wait between goals at the World Cup finals. Their last had come exactly 28 years previously in a 5-2 defeat to Scotland at the 1982 tournament.


What We Saw Yesterday...

New Zealand 1-1 Slovakia

New Zealand lived up to their 'plucky underdogs' moniker with a hard-fought draw against a disappointing Slovakia. Winston Reid grabbed the Kiwi's equaliser deep into added time after the veteran Robert Vittek had given the Slovaks the lead. "A minor sporting tragedy" was Slovakia coach Vladimir Weiss's take on the equaliser.

Ivory Coast 0-0 Portugal

This was a tie that promised much, but delivered very little. For those who saw the Africa Cup of Nations in January, Ivory Coast were surprisingly organised and compact yesterday - a product, no doubt, of them appointing Sven Goran Eriksson as coach. While the closing twenty minutes were screaming out for some courage, both sides looked happier avoiding defeat than pushing for the win.

Brazil 2-1 North Korea

While Brazil came out on top in the evening game, most of the post-match talk has been about the terrific defensive display given by the North Koreans.

As was pointed out by several observers beforehand, Brazil struggled badly in qualifying against sides who refused to fall into their counter-attacking trap. The Koreans also failed to comply and can be rightly delighted to have push the five-time champions right to the wire.

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