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Wales struggled to draw with Switzerland in their Euro 2020 opening match, as Kiefer Moore celebrated his return to the starting line-up with what could be an important equaliser.
In just his third start in nine matches under interim manager Robert Page, the Cardiff City striker was close to giving Wales an early lead when Jan Sommer sent in his header in fine form.
Switzerland dominated the match from that moment on, and after wasting several chances, they eventually scored a superb goal for Brielle Embolo with a header from Xherdan El Shugairi’s corner.
Wales were slow to improve after their slow start, but with 15 minutes to go, Joe Morrell’s cross accurately found Moore, whose header hit the bottom corner by hitting the small but loud ball for Wales fans in Baku.
Those fans experienced mixed feelings 10 minutes later when Swiss substitute Mario Gravanovic scored moments after entering, but the VAR halted his goal for offside.
Switzerland continued to press for the winning goal in extra time but were held back by a series of impressive saves from Danny Ward.
Such was the intensity of the late Swiss pressure, and the tie felt like a huge relief for Wales, whose next game will be against Turkey in Baku on Wednesday.
distance Turkey crushed 3-0 by Italy In the opening game of the tournament on Friday, Wales’ second game in Baku could have a huge impact on their hopes of reaching the knockout stages.
The red wall in Baku is a few bricks
Wales waited 58 years to spend their time in the sun at Euro 2016. After missing a major final since the 1958 World Cup, Wales celebrated their return to the semi-finals.
It was summer that changed Welsh football forever, and while eight members of this squad remain, this time around the mission statement is to create their own history.
This was a completely different scene from France. While 24,000 Welsh fans crowded into Bordeaux stadium five years ago, the pandemic in Baku meant the Red Wall traveled by only hundreds rather than thousands.
They made themselves heard in the sparsely attended Baku Olympic Stadium, which made them upset that locals had failed to fill their allotments.
He called up Big Moore when he got back to 4-2-3-1, having gone without a traditional striker in a 3-4-3 formation in recent games.
The decision had an almost immediate effect as Daniel James found a brilliant cross for Moore, who had his head turned brilliantly by Somer.
It was as good as in the first half with Wales, who were outdone by their self-confident and well-organised opponents. Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey barely participated, while the defense struggled to contain the Embolo.
But in the end Wales rebounded, with Ben Davies and Ramsey close before a short corner kick led to Muriel’s excellent pass for Moore, whose header justified his choice.
The Swiss have high expectations
Switzerland has struggled under the burden of being the golden generation, with several members of this team winning the 2009 U-17 World Cup and finishing second in the 2011 European U-21 Championship – including Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka and Liverpool playmaker. Shakiri.
But despite qualifying for seven of the past eight finals – one as co-host of the 2008 European Championship – Switzerland failed to get past the second round.
They were a pity that they weren’t ahead by half the time, as Seferovic in particular was misguided with his shot. But attacking partner Embolo was in better shape, diverting Wales centre-backs Chris Mepham and Joe Rodon.
And the Borussia Monchengladbach player freed both of them early in the second half before he saw his shot saved by Ward and from a corner kick heading inside.
Embolo came close to adding a second after cutting in from the left, but the most painful of Switzerland’s looming strikes came in the final minutes, first with Gavranovic’s disallowed goal and then the numerous shots that Ward saved.
The two teams returned to Group A matches on Wednesday, with Wales remaining in Baku to face Turkey (17:00 GMT), while Switzerland travel to Rome to face Italy (20:00).
formation – composition 4-1-4-1
- 10Ramseyhas been replaced byampadooat 90 + 3′Minutes
- 20mosqueshas been replaced bybrooksat 75 ‘Minutes
- 13morBooked in 47 minutes
- 3N Williams
- 17Norrington Davis
formation – composition 3-4-1-2
- 1the summer
- 22ShareBooked in 30 minutes
- 2MbabweBooked in 63 minutes
- 23Shakirihas been replaced byZachariasat 66 ‘Minutes
- 9Seferovichas been replaced byJavranowiczat 84 ‘Minutes
- 3and destroys
- 16barrel night
- Clement Turbin
Match ends, Wales 1, Switzerland 1.
The second half ends, Wales 1, Switzerland 1.
Corner, Switzerland. against Chris Mepham.
Toggle, Wells. Ethan Ampadu replaces Aaron Ramsey.
Offside, Switzerland. Kevin Mbabo tries a through pass, but Mario Gavranovic is offside.
Corner, Switzerland. against David Brooks.
Corner, Switzerland. Against him is Danny Ward.
Attempt saved. The Breel Embolo (Switzerland) header is saved at very close range in the upper left corner. Ricardo Rodriguez helped him with a cross.
Corner, Switzerland. Against him is Ben Davies.
Attempt is prohibited. Gareth Bale (Wales) right-footed shot was blocked from the middle of the penalty area. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey.
Offside, Switzerland. Fabian Scherr attempted a through pass, but Mario Gavranovic was caught offside.
VAR Decision: No goal Wales 1-1 Switzerland.
Offside, Switzerland. Breel Embolo attempts a through pass, but Mario Gavranovic is caught offside.
Alternative, Switzerland. Mario Gavranovic replaces Haris Seferovic.
False Denis Zakaria (Switzerland).
Ben Davies (Wales) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt is prohibited. Joe Morrell (Wales)’s right-footed shot was blocked from outside the penalty area.
Attempt is prohibited. Denis Zakaria (Switzerland) shoots with his right foot from outside the penalty area. Assisted by Haris Seferovic.
Brielle Embolo (Switzerland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Gareth Bale (Wales).