Letzigrund still refuses Switzerland. Even against the 109th team in the FIFA rankings, they are still unable to win in Zurich.
Murat Yakin’s team shared the challenge with Kosovo (1-1) for a fifth game in a row without a win on this Letzigrund lawn where they suffered one of the worst defeats in their history against Luxembourg in 2008. This result does not harm a Swiss team which was very far from presenting the same face as three days earlier in England. As one might have feared, the degree of involvement was not the same as at Wembley. In the opposing camp, the approach to this meeting was not the same. Carried by their supporters, the Kosovars were not far from playing the match of the year. They knew how to negotiate it very well.
Seven months before the World Cup in Qatar, this meeting did not deliver any major lessons to Murat Yakin. No player he has lined up has made an impression to make his selection for Qatar unavoidable. None of them has either, it seems, exhausted their credit. In this sense, it was almost a game for nothing except that he reminded that Switzerland cannot, despite its recent results, cultivate the slightest excess of confidence regardless of the opponent in front of it.
This second and… last friendly match of the year really did not offer the spectacle hoped for by the Swiss side. The festive atmosphere in the stands for this very special meeting unfortunately did not push Murat Yakin’s players to really sublimate themselves. Like their captain Granit Xhaka, who wore the white cross jersey for the 100th time, and his playing master Xherdan Shaqiri, the Swiss only played intermittently. We had to wait until the 43rd minute to appreciate Shaqiri’s first flash, a sudden strike stopped in two stages by goalkeeper Arijanet Muric.
Previously, only Steven Zuber had managed to carry the danger. The AEK player should have obtained a penalty on a foul from Florent Hadergjonaj in the 18th minute before also putting Muric to the test in the 32nd. We were a long way from the mark at the break for this Swiss team which only fielded … two of the nine holders of Wembley. Fortunately for her, Gregor Kobel had delivered the goods with two parades on the heads of Vedat Muriqi (13th) and Valon Berisha (32nd).
A French-speaking equalization
But in the 52nd minute, the Dortmund goalkeeper could do nothing about Milot Rashica’s opener. The Norwich City player was at the conclusion of a break which had been favored by a catastrophic pass from Zuber. The reply from the Swiss was not long in coming. She wore the claw in the 61st of the two holders Romands with a cross from Kevin Mbabu for the head of Jordan Lotomba. With this goal, the Genevan and the Vaudois admirably illuminated a performance which had not been breathtaking until this action.
Just after this equalizer, Murat Yakin made his first changes, notably replacing Granit Xhaka. The captain obviously did not appreciate having to leave the game so early. His body language conveyed the extent of his frustration. Already critical of him on Saturday when analyzing his performance against England, Murat Yakin probably wanted to send the message that no privileges will be granted under his reign. Even to his captain.
This article has been published automatically. Source: ats