Baku, Azerbaijan (AFP) – Switzerland faces Turkey in Group A of the European Championship on Sunday. Since they both need to win to qualify for the next round, there could be an offensive football team in the near future. The tie serves neither of them.
The higher the margin of victory, the better.
A win would give Switzerland four points in Group A and a good chance of qualifying in the top four or even overtaking Wales, who are in second place. But the 3 goal difference is the biggest handicap for Switzerland. Depending on the results in other groups, beating Turkey 1-0 may not be enough.
“The whole nation is disappointed. It’s okay to be disappointed, that’s what happens in sport,” said Swiss midfielder Stephen Zuber. “We know the feeling we’re on the other side, and that’s our goal: to be on the other side on Sunday.”
Turkey lost its first two matches without scoring, and coach Şenol Güneş apologized to the fans. Mathematically he could be ranked, but he would need to beat the Swiss to beat his minus 5 goal difference and that other results would favour.
The Swiss weren’t extravagant either, only one goal in two games. Since the loss to Italy, many have criticized coach Vladimir Petkovic for what they see as negative tactics and a lack of creativity.
This will be Petkovic’s 76th game at the helm of the national team, who had not lost a match in the opening round of a major tournament until the defeat to Italy.
Before starting, Switzerland had been hoping to finish off a streak of three consecutive major tournaments they had wiped out in the round of 16. Now, just getting to this point would be an achievement.