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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Swiss storm into second round

Swiss storm into second round

June 24, 2006 03:05 IST

Goals from Philippe Senderos and Alex Frei gave Switzerland a 2-0 World Cup win over South Korea on Friday, earning a clash with Ukraine in the last 16.

Senderos headed the opening goal from a free kick by Hakan Yakin in the 23rd minute.

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The Swiss defender sustained a nasty cut near his eye after clashing heads with Choi Jin-cheul. The Korean defender also needed medical treatment but played on with his head bandaged.

Frei made sure of victory with 13 minutes left, pouncing on a stray pass by a defender, rounding goalkeeper Lee Woon-jae and slotting the ball into an empty net to secure Korea's elimination.

The Swiss striker scored after an offside flag went up but Argentine referee Horacio Elizondo ruled the goal should stand after a protest from the Koreans and a consultation with his linesman.

The first chance of the game arrived in the eighth minute when Park Ji-sung went close.

The Swiss were always dangerous at set pieces, with Yakin a revelation in his first international start for more than nine months.

Sidelined by a string of injuries for much of that time, he showed little sign of rustiness when he fired in a perfectly weighted free kick for Senderos to head past the Korean keeper.  

Switzerland had more than enough chances to double their lead as the half progressed but it was Korea who ended it the stronger with Park Chu-young scuffing a scoring opportunity in the 44th minute.

Lee Chun-soo also had a fierce low drive parried by Swiss keeper Pascal Zuberbuehler.

The second half began as frenetically as the first and Senderos had to leave the pitch clutching his arm after a bad fall.

Knowing a defeat would almost certainly end their World Cup campaign, Korea pushed forward and were unfortunate not to win a penalty when Patrick Mueller appeared to handle.

While the Koreans looked the more urgent, the Swiss were the more efficient and should have stretched their lead when striker Frei broke down the right only to see his powerful shot fly back off the top of the post.

The Swiss finished top of the group and enjoyed the distinction of becoming the only side to qualify for the second round without conceding a goal.

Mark Ledsom
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