Feared as being the match of zero points, this Switzerland – Portugal of June 12 in Geneva was indeed the meeting which rekindled the flame of hope. It can now burn all summer.
In a sold-out stadium – 26,300 spectators – and shared equally between Swiss and Portuguese supporters, Murat Yakin’s selection won 1-0 thanks to a success after… 58 seconds of play from Haris Seferovic.
Due to both Jonas Omlin’s prowess in the cage and a flawless esprit de corps, this victory changes everything. In the immediate future, it allows Switzerland to return, after three initial defeats, to one point behind the Czech Republic, beaten 2-0 in Malaga by Spain, before the last two matches in September. The maintenance in the first division of this League of Nations becomes possible again.
This success, the first of the year, will especially calm the spirits. With his 4-3-3, Murat Yakin made sometimes surprising choices. But they were winners. The coach was able to count on a captain who paid in person. Faced with opposing pressure, Granit Xhaka coped admirably. After five lackluster performances in 2022 in the jersey of the selection, the captain has finally shown that he is indeed a great captain.
Haris Seferovic’s 25th goal
Less than a minute was enough for Haris Seferovic to recall that he had been the hero of Switzerland – France last year at the Euro with his double from Bucharest. The Lucerne scored his 25th goal for selection with a header on a perfect cross from Silvan Widmer, who had benefited from a remarkable shift from Xherdan Shaqiri.
With this goal, Switzerland finally found the success they may have missed in their first three matches of this group stage. It would have been optimal, however, if the VAR had not canceled a penalty that Shaqiri was about to take in the 13th minute. Granted for a hand from Nuno Mendes on a cross from this same Shaqiri, he had not finally passed the VAR cut due to a foul by Nico Elvedi on André Silva at the start of the action.
With a two-goal advantage, Switzerland’s mattress would have been more comfortable. Even more so after Shaqiri went off in the 21st for thigh pain. The Basel was logically replaced by Noah Okafor, removed from the starting lineup due to the return to grace of Seferovic.
Without Cristiano Ronaldo spared, but with a rather inspired Bruno Fernandes and an untenable Rafael Leao, Portugal took the upper hand over the minutes. But he was only to benefit from a single chance with a header from Danilo on which Jonas Omlin intervened with class. The Montpellier goalkeeper delivered the performance that Gregor Kobel had not really achieved a week earlier in Lisbon.
On the restart, Widmer also had to give up his place. We do not know if Murat Yakin then bit his fingers to have relegated to the stands two players who occupy this right-back position in the club – Jordan Lotomba and Kevin Mbabu – to, in the end, introduce Renato Steffen in a role that is not his.
On the restart, Widmer also had to give up his place. We do not know if Murat Yakin then bit his fingers to have relegated to the stands two players who occupy this right-back position in the club – Jordan Lotomba and Kevin Mbabu – to, in the end, introduce Renato Steffen to play a role which is not his.
As we might have feared, this second period was only an attack-defense. An impression reinforced with the entries of Diogo Jota and Bernardo Silva shortly after the hour mark. Fortunately for Switzerland, their goalkeeper was up to the situation. Omlin saved his people in the 49th in front of André Silva, in the 63rd on a strike from Bernardo Silva, in the 72nd on a recovery from Guedes and on a header from Diogo Jota again in the 77th. Already to his advantage at Wembley last March against England, the Lucerne man demonstrated that he could be, like Yann Sommer, also the man for the big matches.
This article has been published automatically. Source: ats