Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld blamed an attack of nerves by his players for their failure to qualify for the knockout stage of the World Cup on Friday.
The Swiss could have qualified from Group H if they had secured a two-goal victory against lowly Honduras, but instead the match ended in a 0-0 draw.
“We had great ambitions for this match. It was too much of a burden for [the players] and it got more during the game. We got more nervous and failed to pass properly,” said Hitzfeld, who was gracious in defeat, though clearly stunned.
He drew some consolation from the opening 1-0 victory against pre-tournament favorites Spain.
“The win against Spain is a win for eternity. That match is there to stay in the memory of all fans. Everyone will remember it for a long time,” he said.
For the Central Americans, the result restored a measure of pride to a campaign in which they lost twice and failed to score any goals.
“They knew what this game meant for the nation. They really showed their courage and brought everything they had,” Honduras coach Reinaldo Rueda said.
Both coaches shared a disappointment in the finishing ability of their strikers in a game that featured plenty of unfulfilled chances at both ends of the pitch.
“We lacked precision and we lacked maturity for the final strike, and we did not get a goal unfortunately,” Rueda said.
Hitzfeld said he was not happy with his midfield or his attackers.
“We haven’t lived up to our expectations. We need more strikers,” he said.
Kanako Murata seemed destined to represent Japan at the Tokyo Olympics as a freestyle wrestler, but that all changed when she saw MMA icon Ronda Rousey fight. “It was then that I knew what I wanted to do and I have never regretted it for a moment since,” said Murata, now a rising star with the Las Vegas-based UFC. First inspired by Japan’s Olympic wrestling queen Saori Yoshida, Murata had by her early 20s emerged as a junior world freestyle wrestling champion. Then came the night in 2015 that Murata saw the explosive American former UFC bantamweight champion Rousey in action, and
ADVANTAGE: The world No. 4, who has physiotherapist Victoria Kao as his mentor, cheerleader and critic, said he was lucky Taiwan kept COVID-19 at bay for so long It is an unorthodox approach, but Taiwan’s Chou Tien-chen is hoping his decision to go without a coach will help him win badminton gold at the Tokyo Olympic Games. The world No. 4 has flourished since parting ways with a full-time coach in 2019, with his physiotherapist Victoria Kao filling the role of mentor, cheerleader and critic. With Kao in his corner, Chou won his first Super 1000 title at the 2019 Indonesia Open, and lifted the Taipei Open trophy for a record third time. Now Chou, who reached the last eight at Rio 2016, has set his sights on winning Taiwan’s first
At least two people were hospitalized on Tuesday after a Greenpeace protester crash-landed on the pitch before the Germany-France match at UEFA Euro 2020 when his powered parachute microlight struck spidercam cables atthe Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany. The pilot flew over the pitch just before kick-off in the Group F clash with “Kick out oil” written on the canopy of his parachute. However, when the pilot hit television cables above the pitch, it knocked his microlight off balance and he landed on the turf after clipping one of the stands, where the casualties happened. The pilot was arrested soon after landing. A Munich
‘SPECIAL CORNER’: The Serb left the court after losing the first two sets to compose himself just as he had done in his wins over Lorenzo Musetti and Rafael Nadal Novak Djokovic has set his sights on the “Golden Grand Slam” of all four majors and the Olympic title, saying: “Everything is possible.” The world No. 1 on Sunday captured a second French Open and 19th Grand Slam with a 6-7 (6/8), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win over Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas. It allowed him to become the first man in the Open era, and only third in history, to claim all four Grand Slam titles on multiple occasions. Now he has targeted being the third man to complete a calendar Grand Slam after Don Budge in 1937, and Rod Laver in 1962 and