Before the game Spain was the outrageous favorite. Switzerland hadn’t conceded a goal since the USA World Cup in 1994 prior to this. But today, when facing the European Champions in their opening game that statistic was going to be shattered. For sure. Right? But this is football – anything can happen in football. And it did. Boom. 1-0 Switzerland. Spain in shock. Switzerland in euphoria.
The commentator said, “They‘ve done nothing yet they find themselves in front”.
But demanding them to play out Spain is as silly as expecting them to win. Switzerland, who quite remarkably won the U-17 World Cup in 2002, had six players from that generation on the pitch today, was ready to show they have grown into their boots. They had done their homework and defended well. Switzerland hasn’t conceded a goal since the USA World Cup in1994 and after the game against Spain – they still haven’t. Not too many expected that. Less expected them to win. Silly football, right…
Regardless of your sympathies, you have to admit that this is what makes football the most brilliant sport in the world. It’s unpredictable and nothing is certain. Brilliant tricks, amazing goals, huge stars, astonishing achievements aside, this is part of the reason we love football.
Is this it for viva la Espana now? Statistics might imply so:
- Only 8% of teams that lose their first game advance pass the group stages.
- No team has ever won the World Cup after losing the opening game.
Then again, no European team has ever won the World Cup outside Europe – and that stat didn’t seem to scare anyone off before this started when Spain was considered one of the favorites for the title. Pretty sure the Spaniards will recover and come back. They’re simply too good not too.