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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Shaqiri’s magic keeps Swiss hope alive after sharing spoils with Scots


Scotland and Switzerland battled to an exciting 1-1 draw in their second Group A match of UEFA Euro 2024, held in the early hours of Thursday IST. Both teams demonstrated determination and skill, keeping their tournament aspirations alive.

The match started with high intensity. Scott McTominay gave Scotland an early lead in the 13th minute when his shot was deflected into the net by Fabian Schar. Switzerland quickly equalised in the 26th minute through Xherdan Shaqiri, who seized on a loose pass to score a brilliant first-time goal.

Scotland’s goalkeeper Angus Gunn made a crucial save against Dan Ndoye in the 32nd minute, and Ndoye missed a clear opportunity in the 58th minute, firing wide. Grant Hanley’s header hit the post in the 67th minute, while Zeki Amdouni’s header went just wide in the dying moments of the match.

The game, which had the intensity of a knockout match due to Scotland’s critical position in the group, saw both teams fiercely competing for dominance. Despite Scotland’s early lead and late pressure, the match ended in a draw, earning both teams a valuable point.

Manuel Akanji of Switzerland was named Player of the Match for his commanding performance in defense, organising the back three effectively and contributing to the build-up play with four line-breaking passes.

After the match, Scotland head coach Steve Clarke praised his team’s performance, noting their continued survival in the tournament. Captain Andy Robertson expressed satisfaction with the performance and emphasised the importance of their next game. Midfielder Billy Gilmour highlighted the team’s determination and belief in their ability to make history.

Switzerland coach Murat Yakin acknowledged Shaqiri’s crucial goal and the anticipated pressure from Scotland, while Shaqiri himself described his goal as memorable and a confidence booster. Switzerland captain Granit Xhaka noted the team’s confident performance and Shaqiri’s significant impact.

Shaqiri set a record as the only European player to score in six consecutive Euro and World Cup tournaments. Scotland earned their first Euro point in a game where they conceded a goal. John McGinn appeared in his 31st consecutive game for Scotland.

Switzerland fielded their oldest ever Euro starting XI, with an average age of 30 years and 119 days. Shaqiri set a Swiss record by appearing in seven Euro and World Cup tournaments. Switzerland has lost just one of their last 12 Euro matches, with four wins and seven draws.

Scotland’s next match is against Hungary on Saturday in Stuttgart, while Switzerland will face Germany on the same day in Frankfurt.

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