June 19, 2006

Switzerland 2, Togo 0: Putting aside centuries of bitter strife between the two countries, the soccer players of Switzerland and Togo met today in a match many fans have circled on their calendars for months. Goals by Alexander Frei and Tranquillo Barnetta, and a non-call inside the penalty area that would have given the Togolese a free kick in the first half, proved the difference. The Sparrowhawks showed up for the game, a matter that was actually in doubt only a few hours before thanks to a threatened walk-out by their players due to a dispute over bonuses. The Swiss can advance to the second round with a tie against the Koreans Friday, thanks to superior goal differential.

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