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Page last updated at 21:39 GMT, Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:39 UK

Thursday's World Cup round-up

Highlights - Spain 0-1 Switzerland

Switzerland's defender Philippe Senderos has been ruled out of their next two World Cup matches after injuring his ankle during the game against Spain.

Senderos limped out of the game in the 36th minute before the Swiss completed the biggest upset of the tournament with a 1-0 win over the European champions.

"We know that Philippe will miss the next two games but he will stay with the team," the team's spokesman Marco von Ah. "There are no broken bones, just a painful distortion of his ankle.

"He is feeling much better; he was really down last night, but the pictures from the X-ray proved to be encouraging."

Switzerland's Gelson Fernandes was as surprised as everyone else after scoring the winning goal in his team's historic World Cup triumph over Spain.

The St Etienne midfielder's strike seven minutes into the second half of Wednesday's Group H match proved enough for Ottmar Hitzfeld's side to beat the European champions - and left Fernandes stunned.

"I don't think I realise what is happening right now," said the 23-year-old. "I'm a bit surprised. It's a very special moment for our country and I'm very happy. We were definitely very good against Spain and we played very well as a team."

Argentina coach Diego Maradona has again called on referees to protect flair players such as Lionel Messi in the World Cup, urging officials to be even stricter with offending opponents.

Argentina's Lionel Messi
Maradona said Messi is twice as good as any other player at the World Cup

"If we are going to see a match when the star players are not going to be mistreated then I think the referees need to be a lot stricter, and if Korea's players do something to Messi or Carlos Tevez then they need to get out the yellow cards, and if it happens a second time, then that's it," said Maradona.

Greece striker Theofanis Gekas is the latest player to call for World Cup organisers to ban vuvuzelas. Gekas was irritated by the noise in their opening game against South Korea, which his side lost 2-0.

"I do think the trumpets should be stopped. They are affecting the players as we cannot communicate properly," he stated.

Ivory Coast striker Salomon Kalou has called on his team to take inspiration from North Korea's resilient defensive display against Brazil where they lost 2-1.

Ivory Coast play Brazil on Sunday and the 24-year-old said: "I saw the first half of their match and North Korea defended really well and annoyed Brazil, they serve as a good example. We have the players who can make a difference, our strength will always be in attack but we must focus on defence."

World Cup organising chief executive Danny Jordaan is confident South Africans will continue to embrace the tournament even if they fail to reach the knockout stages.

South Africa lost 3-0 to Uruguay on Wednesday and are now on the brink of elimination. "June 16 was another night of pain. What is important now is that the fans embrace the tournament beyond the Bafana team," said Jordaan.

Germany and Serbia have had to cancel training sessions at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium to protect the pitch after heavy rain.

The two sides, who play each other on Friday, have had to make alternative arrangements after being informed by Fifa that they could not hold their traditional eve-of-match training at the venue.

Warming lamps were being used at the shady end of the stadium in an effort to dry the pitch. A large tarpaulin was also placed on one end of the field, with about 30 large lamps heating the grass.

Midfielder Yuki Abe has said Japan will need to "wind up and frustrate" the Netherlands if they are to claim a second successive victory at the World Cup.

Japan face the Netherlands on Saturday, and the Urawa Reds midfielder said: "There are other good players on their team as well and it will be difficult to keep tabs on all of them so we will have to be on our guard."

Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas faced an awkward post-match inquisition from his girlfriend Sara Carbonera, a sideline reporter for the Telecinco channel, following the defeat by Switzerland. During a post-match interview, the journalist asked Casillas: "How did you manage to muck it up?"

And a shocked Casillas replied: "I don't know what to say. I don't know if this defeat will have consequences. The dressing room is fed up."

With their clash against England looming on Friday, under-dogs Algeria have watched the film "Battle of Algiers", a graphic account of Algeria's bloody struggle for independence from French colonial rule.

"I had never seen it before. It was very moving, and it was very moving to spend the time together. This is the kind of thing we need to do to feel together," 26-year-old midfielder Hassan Yebda told reporters.

Updated throughout the day

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see also
Wednesday's World Cup round-up
16 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Tuesday's World Cup 2010 round-up
15 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Monday's World Cup 2010 round-up
14 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Sunday's World Cup 2010 round-up
13 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Jakarta Globe Switzerland Aside, World Cup Yet to Provide a Truly Memorable Show - 59 mins ago
Yahoo! India Swiss Frei, Behrami doubtful starters againt Chile - 1 hr ago
Newcastle United Mad NU Mad - World Cup Report - Friday - 3 hrs ago Surprise-package Switzerland wants to forget win over Spain - 6 hrs ago
Insideworldfootball Pain for Spain makes World Cup journey more difficult - 9 hrs ago


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