In 2010 Switzerland began their group stage in South Africa by beating champions-elect Spain. Four years later they recorded another win in their inaugural World Cup outing, this time against Ecuador. One man who featured in both games was our own Stephan Lichtsteiner, among the star performers in his side's 2-1 success on Sunday.
Ottmar Hitzfeld's charges had gone in at the break trailing to Enner Valencia's 22nd-minute header, but soon restored parity when half-time substitute Admir Mehmedi nodded home at the near post from a corner, just three minutes after entering the fray.
However, the game looked to be heading for a draw until the Swiss snatched a winner deep into added time with a goal made in Serie A: Napoli midfielder Valon Behrami doggedly won possession in his own half and instigated a Swiss counter-attack, which ended with former Fiorentina, Lecce and Novara forward Haris Seferovic knocking past Ecuador custodian Alexander Dominguez at the near post.
In what was an evenly balanced match largely void of emotions, the Bianconeri full-back took up his position on the right flank as Hitzfeld set out his men in a 4-2-3-1 arrangement, Behrami forming the double pivot with his Napoli sidekick Gökhan Inler. The South American outfit instead had Felipe Caicedo and Valencia leading the line in a 4-4-2.
Lichtsteiner, making his 64th cap in his second World Cup finals, played all 90 minutes at the Estádio Nacional de Brasilia, pushing up the wing and pinging four crosses into the box. He also had one shot and created one goalscoring opportunity for a team-mate. Perhaps most impressive of all was the Juve wideman's passing accuracy, running like Swiss clockwork last night: he successfully completed 48 passes, misplacing just one all game.