Euro 2020: Switzerland beat Turkey by 3-1

Mon 21 Jun 2021, 09:38:20
Baku: A lifeline for Switzerland. More misery for Turkey. Xherdan Shaqiri scored two goals on Sunday to give Switzerland a 3-1 victory over Turkey and a likely place in the Round of 16 at the European Championship.

Winger Steven Zuber assisted all three Switzerland goals, with Haris Seferovic getting the first and Shaqiri putting in the next two.

Irfan Can Kahveci scored for Turkey, the only goal the team managed at Euro 2020.

Switzerland finished third in Group A and will likely qualify as one of the four best third-place teams. The Swiss will have to wait until other groups are finished for confirmation.

If Switzerland had scored two more goals, it would have overtaken Wales for second place in Group A and a guaranteed spot in the next round. The Welsh lost to Italy 1-0 in Rome.

Boos echoed around the stadium at the end of the match as Turkey exited after losing all three of its games. The team’s goal difference was minus seven, the worst since the European Championship expanded to a 24-team competition in 2016.

Seferovic put Switzerland ahead in the sixth minute and hushed what had briefly been a raucous crowd. Under pressure from the Swiss defense, Zuber turned and played a pass for Seferovic, who placed his shot low into the far bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Zuber had a hand in Shaqiri’s second goal as well in the 26th. Seferovic drew the Swiss defense to the left side of the box and played in Zuber, who found Shaqiri in the space created. The Liverpool winger had time to control the ball and curl it into the top-right corner, leaving the goalkeeper no chance.

Kahveci got Turkey back into the game with his own spectacular curled shot in the 62nd — and was immediately substituted.

That woke up the pro-Turkey crowd in Baku, but Shaqiri soon broke away on a counterattack to restore the two-goal lead off Zuber’s third assist.

Italy’s reserves really do play as well as its starters. Or just about. Roberto Mancini has been saying for weeks that all 26 members of his squad are starters. And after beating Wales 1-0 on Sunday despite making eight changes to his starting lineup at the European Championship, it’s hard to argue with him.

“It’s important that the identity of the team remains the same, as changing three or four players shouldn’t make any difference. They all know what to do and the end product doesn’t change,” Mancini said.

“They all proved today that everyone here is a first-choice player,” the coach added. “Winning wasn’t even necessary, which made it difficult in terms of mentality, but we fought for the win anyway and that shows so much.”

The victory extended Italy’s unbeaten streak to 30 matches — matching a team record.

Matteo Pessina gave Italy the lead late in the first half by redirecting a free kick from Marco Verratti on a textbook play. Wales defender Ethan Ampadu was sent off with a questionable straight red card for stepping on Federico Bernardeschi 10 minutes into the second half.

Italy, which won its opening two matches 3-0, finished Group A with a perfect nine points. Wales came second with four points and qualified for the last 16 at only its second European Championship. The Welsh reached the semifinals at Euro 2016.

Chasing only its second European title, Italy will play the second-place team from Group C at Wembley Stadium in London next Saturday. Wales will play the second-place team from Group B in Amsterdam.

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