After drawing one of the weakest groups in the European qualification stages for the World Cup, Switzerland went to Seoul having failed to lose a game since May 2012.
However, despite FIFA ranking Switzerland as the seventh best team in international football, they slumped to defeat in Seoul courtesy of a spirited comeback from Hong Myung-Bo’s men.
The Swiss opened the scoring after just seven minutes, when Fulham’s Patjim Kasami drilled a low effort from distance into the back of the net.
Surprisingly, South Korea managed to fight their way back into the friendly after just 14 minutes when Hong Jeong-Ho rose from a corner and headed the ball past Diego Benaglio.
The hosts sealed the victory three minutes before the end, as Lee Chung-Yong headed home a cross provided by Lee Keun-Ho.
Consequently, this shocking result presented South Korea with their first back-to-back win for 15 months, whilst Switzerland’s 14 game unbeaten run came to an abrupt end.
According to the FIFA World Ranking system, Switzerland are better than Netherlands, Italy, England and Brazil.
On their course towards qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, the Swiss were placed in to a group so weak, that Iceland finished in second place, granting them the opportunity against Croatia to make history by becoming the smallest nation ever to qualify for the World Cup finals.
Regardless, Basel centre-back Fabian Schar was Switzerland’s top-scorer during the qualification stages having netted three goals.
To make matters worse, Switzerland’s No.9 Haris Seferovic failed to score any goals in Group E against Cyprus, Albania, Norway, Slovenia and Iceland.
Throughout the course of their 14 game unbeaten run, the Swiss actually beat Brazil 1-0 courtesy of Barcelona right-back Dani Alves heading the ball into the back of his own net.
Additionally, the Swiss capitalised upon being drawn against teams outside the top 30 of the world rankings.
In turn, they ruthlessly beat Slovenia in the final game of the qualification stages, gifting Iceland their opportunity to make history after they drew with Norway.
On the other hand, teams such as Italy had already sealed their qualification for Brazil with two games to go, therefore they decided to utilise their last two games against Armenia and Denmark to try out new tactics and different players such as Davide Astori, Lorenzo Insigne and Alessandro Florenzi.
Consequently, the Italians drew their final two games 2-2, meaning that FIFA ranked them in eighth place, whereas if they had won both games they would be ranked as the fourth best team in the world.
When Bosnia and Herzegovina finished first in Group G and qualified for their first ever World Cup finals, everybody considered them as the worst team to have qualified from the European section of World Cup qualifiers.
However, Bosnian forwards Edin Dzeko and Vedad Ibisevic have scored 18 goals between them on their journey towards Brazil. Whereas Switzerland scored a mere 17 goals during their time in the weakest qualification group.
Ultimately, the disappointing result in Seoul is just a precursor of what is to come at the World Cup for the apparent “seventh” best team in international football.
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