Sixty years after silencing the Maracana by snatching the Jules Rimet Trophy from Brazil's grasp, Uruguay's footballers lowered the volume of the vuvuzelas tonight with a victory over South Africa that leaves the host nation's hopes of FIFA World Cup™ progress hanging by a thread. Day 6 of these finals provided the most drama yet and not only for Uruguay's party-pooping – Spain suffered a shock loss to Switzerland, while Chile ended a long, long wait for a win on this stage.
At the Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Uruguay outplayed South Africa from start to finish. Unlike Mexico before them in the Opening Match, they got the goal their first-half superiority over Bafana Bafana merited through Diego Forlan's deflected long-range strike that looped over Itumeleng Khune. Worse was to follow for Khune, who was sent off for tripping Luis Suarez after 80 minutes, to give Forlan the chance to double the advantage from the penalty spot. The game was already up when Alvaro Pereira made it three and the question now is whether Carlos Alberto Parreira can lift his charges for their final Group A fixture against France, when they will have it all to do to prevent making history as the first hosts to fall in the first round. No such worries for Uruguay after a first finals win since 1990 – Oscar Tabarez's men now have a great chance of reaching the last 16 for the first time since then.
Like South Africa, Spain also had a day to forget, beaten by Switzerland for the first time in 19 meetings. The European champions had lost only once in 48 matches prior to their Group H opener in Durban but Ottmar Hitzfeld's stubborn Swiss side delivered the tournament's first big upset. Spain outscored the Swiss in virtually every respect, with more shots (24-8), shots on target (8-3) and corners (12-3). Yet they fell short where it mattered most, finding no way past the inspired Swiss goalkeeper Diego Benaglio and falling to the sucker punch when Gelson Fernandes scrambled in a scruffy goal soon after the restart that seemed, in itself, a mocking riposte to Spain's pretty patterns. Switzerland had not won in five matches yet they left the Durban pitch having equalled the FIFA World Cup record of five successive clean sheets, set by Italy in 1990.
The day had begun with another impressive show from a South American side as Marcelo Bielsa's Chile ended their 48-year wait for a FIFA World Cup victory by defeating Honduras 1-0. Curiously it was on this very day in 1962 that they had last won in the finals; that year they claimed third place but while not even the most optimistic fan of La Roja would predict a similar outcome here, their show of slick, quick passing – which opened up Honduras repeatedly – should raise hopes of a second-round place. They got the break their efforts deserved with Jean Beausejour's fortuitous goal and would have had another but for Noel Valladares' wonder save from Waldo Ponce's header.
ResultsHonduras 0-1 Chile
Spain 0-1 Switzerland
South Africa 0-3 Uruguay
Goal of the dayHonduras-Chile, Beausejour, 34 mins: The first winning strike by a Chilean at the FIFA World Cup since Eliado Rojas against Yugoslavia on 16 June 1962, it came after Roger Espinoza's attempted clearance struck the forward as the pair slid in to meet a low cross. It will not win any beauty contests but, after 13 winless FIFA World Cup games, ask anybody in Chile if they care.
One to rememberBenaglio became a No1 to remember after his heroics against Spain. The European champions will certainly not forget the Switzerland goalkeeper in a hurry after he frustrated them time and again, notably foiling Gerard Pique and David Villa when the pair were clean through. Benaglio must have suspected it was his day when Xabi Alonso's piledriver did beat him – only to bounce away off a trembling crossbar.
Quote of the day"From now on people can stop their silly talk about us being favourites and winning this World Cup easily," Spain defender Gerard Pique.
Stat of the day2 – Forlan became the first player at this FIFA World Cup to score two goals in a game, while Bafana Bafana's Khane became only the second goalkeeper to see red in finals history. Sadly for South Africa, events in Tshwane/Pretoria left them as the first host nation to have failed to win either of their first two games.
Voice of the fans"Come on, Bafana Bafana. We can still win – let there be a tie between France and Mexico, and then you beat France. Then we're all happy," FIFA.com user MattH_RSA.
Games of the dayThe surprise twist on Day 6 was undoubtedly Switzerland's 1-0 win over Spain. The match brought Round 1 of McDonald's FIFA World Cup Fantasy and Castrol's World Cup Predictor to a close. petercui and beabranches will each receive a national-team jersey signed by a football star for their superb efforts in the early stage of the tournament.
Have your sayNo team has ever recovered from losing their opening game to win the FIFA World Cup. Can Spain bounce back from their defeat by the Swiss and become the first?