Switzerland gave themselves a superb chance of qualifying for the last 16 of Euro 2020 as one of the best third-placed sides with a magnificent victory that sends Turkey home without a point to their name.
They needed a win in Baku to stand any chance of progression, the Swiss produced by far their best display of the tournament. One that could and probably should have yielded a bigger as well as more rewarding win.
Xherdan Shaqiri and Haris Seferovic, both of them, were the goalscoring heroes. They were silencing those who had questioned their places in the side with a collection of good goals. All of them were assisted by Steven Zuber.
The first of Shaqiri’s brace to make it 2-0 in the first half was especially very good enough. The Liverpool man was curling in from the edge of the box.
Equally important was Yann Sommer in the Swiss goal, who produced a string of good saves to keep a much-improved Turkey at bay, especially in the first half.
At the other end, Ugurcan Cakir was just as impressive and saving numerous times to frustrate a Swiss side who already knew a Wales loss in Italy. In addition, a five-goal swing would give them the second position in the group.
Turkey scored their first goal of the tournament.
Turkey scored their first goal of the tournament, and a fine one it was too. Irfan Can Kahveci was smashing in a long-range drive to narrow the score to 2-1 briefly.
But they were many people’s ill-judged dark horses for the tournament. In the end, they exit with a humbling zero points and a goal difference of minus seven.
However, Switzerland must now still wait a little more for the group games to be completed to see if their efforts will be enough to send them through.
Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic had penned an open letter to fans before the Sunday’s game. Apologizing for their defeat to Italy earlier in the week, saying he and his players were “sorry from the bottom of our hearts.”
Switzerland makes amends for a poor start.
Their display in Baku was every bit of a side looking to amends, led by two of the players who had come in for the most criticism from fans back home, Seferovic and Shaqiri.
The pair’s goals were superb. And the first a low, precise strike into the far bottom corner of the net from Seferovic.
On the other hand, the second a brilliant, curling shot from a central position beyond the dive of Cakir from Shaqiri. He then finished the first time at the end of a ruthless counter-attack soon after Turkey’s goal.
Although, in a game of stunning strikes. Kahveci’s drive into the top corner. Moreover, the midfielder’s first international goal has a very good case for being the best in the game.
With Wales having fallen behind in Italy. Also, it was set up with the possibility of a late Swiss dart for second place. However, the stubbornness of Robert Page’s men in the game in Rome to keep their game to a 1-0 defeat, and no further goals here ended that.
It was something kind of a miracle that there were only four goals in Baku. And with the teams producing a remarkable 41 attempts at the goal between them.
Since 1980, this is only the second game to see both sides have ten or more shots in the opening 45 minutes of a Euros match. With Switzerland also involved in the other a last-16 tie with Poland in 2016.
The two goalkeepers had the biggest role in this, with Sommer invincible in the first half. And Cakir in a near brick wall in the second.
Furthermore, Zuber could well have had a hat-trick of goals to go with his three assists to goals. But for the Turkish number 23.