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Uruguay beat South Africa after shock Swiss victory over Spain

Uruguay have beaten South Africa 3-0 in the second round of Group A games at the World Cup. Earlier, in Group H, Switzerland shocked Spain 1-0, while Chile overcame Honduras by the same score line.

Uruguayan striker Diego Forlan lines up his shot on goal

Forlan's goal came against the run of play

Uruguay have beaten South Africa 3-0 in the second round of Group A games at the World Cup, pushing the South Americans up to four points and leaving Bafana Bafana languishing on one point.

South Africa started the game with energy and tight passing, taking it to the Uruguayan defense. However the dominant possession didn't pay dividends for the hosts, when Uruguay scored in the 23rd minute through a looping shot from outside the box by Atletico Madrid striker Diego Forlan.

The ball tucked under the crossbar and into the back of the net, leaving South African keeper Itumeleng Khune helpless.

The goal didn't have a huge impact on South Africa's composure, but from that point onwards the possession balanced out and Uruguay was allowed more time in their attacking third.

Uruguay started the second half a different team, keeping the South African defense under pressure for the opening 15 minutes.

South Africa seemed somewhat lackluster with the ball and were unable to threaten their opponent's goal until the 65th minute after a cross from the right by Siboniso Gaxa to the near post met Katlego Mphela's head, though the forward pushed the ball wide.

The death knell for South Africa came in the 76th minute when Khune was red carded for bringing down Ajax striker Luis Suarez in the box after he was clear on goal. Forlan coolly smashed home the resultant penalty kick.

Uruguay made it 3-0 with a close-range header from Alvaro Pereira deep in injury time from a Suarez cross.

South Africa must now hope for a win next Tuesday against France if they are to have any hope of progressing to the Round of 16.

Shock in Nelspruit

Switzerland's Gelson Fernandes celebrates

Switzerland upset Spain, who were title favorites

In Wednesday's afternoon match, European title holders Spain were toppled in their first World Cup match after going down 1-0 in a shock loss to Ottmar Hitzfeld’s Switzerland.

The Swiss took the lead in the 52nd minute through a scrappy goal against the run of play from Gelson Fernandes, who picked up a loose ball after Spanish keeper Iker Casillas collided with Eren Derdiyok in the box.

Xavi Alonso went closest to equalizing for the Spaniards in the 70th minute when his shot from the edge of the box rebounded off the crossbar.

Switzerland nearly went 2-0 up four minutes later when Derdiyok weaved past two men in the box and struck the right post after a deft shot with the outside of his right boot.

The victory is the first for Switzerland over Spain in 19 meetings and represents by far the greatest upset so far in the World Cup in South Africa.

Spain dominated possession in the first 45 minutes, getting most of their team behind the ball. The best chance fell to Gerard Pique, who cut back inside Swiss defender Stephane Grichting but saw his shot rebound off the legs of keeper Diego Benaglio.

Despite showing sparks of brilliance with the ball, Spain rarely threatened during the half, while Switzerland, too, lacked any real scoring opportunities.

Vicente Del Bosque's Spain, which, going into the tournament, was among the teams most favored to lift the World Cup, were expected to come away with all three points against Switzerland.

Victory after 48 years

Beausejour scores

Beausejour (in red) shoots to score past Honduras goalkeeper Noel Valladares

In the day's opening Group H match, Chile ended a 48-year winless streak in the World Cup by overcoming Honduras 1-0 at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit. Striker Jean Beausejour bagged the only goal of the game.

In a game which it dominated, Chile were unlucky not to extend their lead after man-of-the-match Beausejour's 34th minute strike.

The goal followed some slick passing in the Honduran box which created space for Mauricio Isla on the right flank to get a low cross in at the near post, which was turned in by the Mexico-based Beausejour.

Chile defender Waldo Ponce came forward for a free kick midway through the second half and should have doubled the lead only for veteran goalie Noel Valladares to parry away a diving point-blank header.

Midfielder Jorge Valdivia had another chance at the goal 15 minutes from full-time, but was correctly flagged offside as the "killer" second goal continued to elude Chile.

In Wednesday's late game, hosts South Africa take on Uruguay in Pretoria in both teams' second hit out in Group A.

Author: Darren Mara

Editor: Michael Lawton

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