minutes without conceding at the FIFA World Cup is the extraordinary run that Switzerland extended in their shock win over Spain. Only Italy (550 minutes) and England (501) can boast a better defensive sequence than the Helvetians, who equalled Gli Azzurri's record of five consecutive clean sheets by shutting out the European champions. Ironically, Switzerland had not kept a single clean sheet in any of their previous 22 FIFA World Cup matches prior to this run. Today's unexpected success – their first in 19 attempts against La Roja – ended a series of impressive runs for Vicente del Bosque's side, who were protecting a 12-match winning streak and a sequence of 37 matches unbeaten against European opposition.
per cent is the possession rate that underlines the extent of Spain's dominance in their defeat by the Swiss. Vicente del Bosque's side also racked up three times as many shots (24 to eight) and four times as many corners (12 to three) as their unfancied rivals, but were left lamenting the statistic that overrides all others: the scoreline. Nor does history provide any consolation. After all, the last time Spain competed in a FIFA World Cup as European champions, at England 1966, they lost their opening match – and failed to make it past the group stage.
years to the day of their last FIFA World Cup victory, Chile made a long-awaited return to winning ways on the game's biggest stage. The South Americans had gone into their meeting with Honduras with the competition's longest-running active winless streak, having come up short on 13 occasions since beating Yugoslavia 1-0 on 16 June 1962. However, the record for the longest winless sequence of all time belongs to Bulgaria, who lost 11 and drew six of their first 17 FIFA World Cup matches before ending their drought against Greece at USA 1994.
goals, 24 different goalscorers. That was the unprecedented situation after the opening round of matches at South Africa 2010. Never before had the first set of games at a FIFA World Cup passed without an individual player scoring more than once.
wins and two draws from their six matches have given South America's representatives a healthy points-per-game average of 2.33, the best of any continent at South Africa 2010. Boosting that tally in today's final match were Uruguay, who arrived in Pretoria having won just one of their previous 17 FIFA World Cup matches. Oscar Tabarez, the man who masterminded tonight's 3-0 win over South Africa, was also in the dugout when that last triumph – 1-0 over Korea Republic – was secured at Italy 1990. This was also a night to remember for Diego Forlan, who became the first Uruguayan in 56 years to score in multiple FIFA World Cups.
siblings in one squad: before South Africa 2010, this had never been seen at a FIFA World Cup. Honduras were the team to make history after adding Jerry Palacios to a pool that already included the striker's older brothers, Wilson and Jhony. This trio could even have been a quartet, in fact, with Milton Palacios also having represented Los Catrachos on 14 prior occasions. Yet this was not as memorable a day for the Palacios family as they might have hoped, with Jerry and Jhony kept on the bench and Wilson yellow-carded in a 1-0 loss to Chile.