sport

Switzerland v Honduras preview

Switzerland are bidding to erase the frustration of 2010 and claim a place in the World Cup knockout stages with victory over Honduras on Wednesday.

Swiss hopes of reaching the last 16 in South Africa four years ago were dashed as they were held to a goalless draw by the central Americans in their final group game.

The situation is similar this year as they face the same opponents in Manaus looking for a victory to progress from Group E.

A draw would suffice if Ecuador lose to France but, with an inferior goal difference to the South Americans, with whom they are level on three points, the Swiss cannot afford to leave much to chance.

Switzerland slipped below Ecuador, whom they beat in their opener, as they crashed 5-2 to France, but their two consolation goals could yet prove important.

Midfielder Blerim Dzemaili told reporters: "Everyone can nurture big dreams, but first we have to do a little homework and that is to beat Honduras.

"We have seen that the big teams just relying on individuals are quickly eliminated, which little Switzerland can't afford.

"We have to give our all together, like we did against France - but we also had some bad luck after they scored their early goals."

Honduras, who have no points after defeats in their first two games, still have a slim chance of progress themselves.

For that to occur they will need to beat Switzerland and hope France overcome Ecuador, with a four-goal swing being achieved in the process.

It seems an unlikely possibility but striker Carlo Costly, for one, is not giving up on the dream.

Costly told FIFA.com: "Hope is the last thing you lose, as they say, but we know it'll be a very tough match against the Swiss because we know their game well.

"We're still hopeful and we've got faith that everything will turn out well, that's what we're clinging on to."

Costly is buoyed by his goal in the country's 2-1 loss to Ecuador last Friday - Honduras' first at a World Cup finals since 1982.

He said: "I was so happy when I scored that goal, because 32 years is a long time and a difficult barrier to overcome.

"That myth, that curse which has been hanging over us for so long, has been laid to rest now.

"But I'm not looking for individual recognition, I'm trying to get Honduras through to the next round."