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Switzerland v England Live Commentary,
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Shots Off Target
Shots On Target
That concludes our commentary of the Nations League third-place match between Switzerland and England! We hope you enjoyed it!
Switzerland aren’t in action again until September 5 when they travel to Republic of Ireland in a Euro 2020 qualifier. England will play two days later when they host Bulgaria in the same competition.
120 minutes of football and 11 penalties were not enough to separate Switzerland and England, but Drmic’s spot-kick, saved by the outstretched arms of Pickford, finally gave us a winner in this contest. England should really have won the match in the regulation 90 – but every time Sommer looked beat by the movement of Alli or Sterling, the woodwork came into play and repelled the Three Lions’ advances. Even with the Wilson goal ruled out, they never let their heads drop as they searched for the winner. Sterling looked to have the match won from a 117th minute free-kick, but once again the crossbar was involved, keeping the clean sheet intact and essentially ensuring spot-kicks. It’s the second victory for England on penalties in a year after overcoming Colombia in the World Cup quarter-finals in 2018 – and it means they finish third in the inaugural Nations League; behind both Portugal and Netherlands.
FULL-TIME: SWITZERLAND 0(5) -0(6) ENGLAND AFTER PENALTIES.
PICKFORD IS THE HERO FOR ENGLAND! Drmic steps up and takes a penalty high towards the left corner, but Pickford reads the striker’s mind and immediately leaps that way – pushing the ball well away from his goal! England have won the shoot-out!
Dier steps up for England and makes it 6-5 after sending the goalkeeper the wrong way! It’s 11 successful penalties in a row for the two sides!
Schar gets it right! The Newcastle defender beats the former Sunderland goalkeeper with an easy tap into the bottom-centre of the goal, fooling Pickford in the process. 5-5!
UNBELIEVABLE CONFIDENCE FROM PICKFORD! It’s the goalkeeper who steps up and smashes his penalty into the corner of the goal – leaving Sommer no chance! The keeper puts England back up once again – 5-4.
Mbabu beats Pickford! The goalkeeper guessed the right way and had his had level to it, but the pace of the shot beats the England number one! 4-4!
Sterling did not get the goal his performance warranted, but he is confident from the spot as he beats Sommer, tucking it away in the bottom-left corner! 4-3!
Akanji is next man up for Switzerland and he makes absolutely certain as his short run-up confuses Pickford – before the centre-back sends it into the top-right corner of the goal! 3-3!
Sancho continues the trend with a wonderful penalty that beats Sommer with pace – despite the goalkeeper guessing the right way! 3-2 England!
Xhaka continues the 100% success rate as he coolly rolls the ball into the bottom-left corner! 2-2!
Barkley makes no mistake from the spot as he dinks his penalty into the centre of the goal sending Sommer the wrong way! A lovely Panenka to make it 2-1!
Zuber is first up for Switzerland and he beats Pickford with a right-footed effort high into the roof of the goal! 1-1!
Maguire is the first to step up – and he smashes it into the bottom-right corner! 1-0 England!
The second half of extra time was a bit lacklustre as the Portuguese heat has no doubt taken its toll on the two XI’s. Sterling’s free-kick sent off the crossbar was no doubt the best chance of the 15-minute period, but no other opportunity came anywhere close. Switzerland looked happy to see the match out and play for penalties – understandable considering England’s significant superiority. With two hours of football not enough to separate the two, it’s all down to penalties!
FULL-TIME IN EXTRA TIME: SWITZERLAND 0-0 ENGLAND.
STERLING OFF THE CROSSBAR! It has been one of those days for England who have hit the woodwork on an extraordinary amount of occasions. The Manchester City winger has the target in his sights as he steps up and hits the relatively flat free-kick with immense power – shaking the frame of the goal as it clatters against the bar!
Xhaka takes Sterling down outside the penalty area and is shown a yellow card which he accepts without any fuss. Can England take advantage at the death?
Seferovic is withdrawn in favour of 19-year old Okafor who is making his first international appearance for Switzerland after progressing through their youth setup.
Xhaka finds Drmic just outside the penalty area, but his right-foot shot from a long way out is blocked by an England defender and smuggled away.
Alexander-Arnold centres a pass for Wilson, who loses the ball slightly in his feet. Unable to square it to a team-mate, or shoot on goal himself, the England forward will have to settle for a corner.
England get the second half of extra time underway from the kick-off!
The other swap is on the wing, where Lingard is replaced by Sancho.
England make two substitutions before the restart, as teams are allowed a fourth change in extra time. The first of the alterations sees Barkley in for Delph.
The first period of extra time was no different to the rest of the match, as England looked far superior in open play. Switzerland are having difficulty posing Pickford any problems – and their attacking issues are met with similar woes at the back. Alexander-Arnold has taken his Champions League winning form into the international period as he has created all sorts of opportunities; all of which have gone begging due to some poor finishing from Alli and Sterling. With 15 minutes left in the match, can either side find the lone goal that will no doubt win the contest?!
105' + 1'
HALF-TIME IN EXTRA TIME: SWITZERLAND 0-0 ENGLAND.
Mbabu crosses it into the penalty area where a crowd of Swiss shirts – including Zakaria and Seferovic – are waiting to attack. Pickford comes off his line immediately and asserts his dominance, catching the ball cleanly.
Alexander-Arnold smashes the free-kick into the wall – sending Elvedi to the ground immediately grasping his chest. It catches the defender square, right underneath the neck – which causes the referee to stop play in order to check on the Switzerland international.
Alli wins a free-kick just outside the Switzerland penalty area after overzealous defending from Schar who bowls over the England forward. Can Southgate’s side capitalise and finally go 1-0 up?!
ALLI FORCES A WONDERFUL SAVE FROM SOMMER! Alexander-Arnold is again at the heart of England’s positivity as his back-post cross finds the head of Alli. He directs his effort to the bottom-right corner where Sommer is able to get enough of a fingertip on it to turn it around the post!
Lingard plays a ball into the penalty area for Sterling, who is unable to make a clean connection with the left-foot half-volley across his body – directing the chance right into the hands of Sommer.
UNBELIEVABLY UNLUCKY FROM STERLING! Alexander-Arnold delivers another superb cross to the far post where Sterling attacks it, sending his header downwards, off the foot of a defender and out for a corner somehow – despite being inside the six-yard box. He’s had a phenomenal match positionally, but the final touch has eluded the Manchester City forward all day.
Mbabu takes a long throw-in towards the England penalty area, but Drmic is called for a foul during the aerial duel – allowing England to clear their lines from the free-kick.
Switzerland get the first half of extra time started from the kick-off!
An hour and a half wasn’t enough to separate the two sides as 30 minutes of additional time – and possibly penalties – will be required to find a winner. England have been the better side throughout, creating many more opportunities to attack and looking dangerous down the flanks with Rose and Alexander-Arnold delivering fantastic service. Wilson’s 84th minute goal seemed to be the all that was needed to decide the match, but after VAR review, the referee wiped the goal away due to a foul on the eventual goal-scorer. Switzerland looked at their best when Xhaka was allowed to hit long-range efforts from outside the penalty area, forcing Pickford into important saves on a couple of occasions.
90' + 4'
END OF REGULATION: SWITZERLAND 0-0 ENGLAND.
90' + 1'
The referee indicates an additional four minutes to be added on for stoppages.
Can England respond positively to having their goal chalked off minutes ago? Southgate’s side thought they had the match won with an 84th minute tap-in, but VAR has once again caused some controversy – as the foul was certainly not a blatant one. With a minute remaining in regulation time – we look destined for extra-time.
Petkovic’s third alteration may also signal a change in shape as full-back Rodriguez is replaced by Drmic who is a natural forward.
ENGLAND LEAD THROUGH WILSON BUT IT’S CHALKED OFF BECAUSE OF VAR! Rose cuts to the byeline and chips a cross into Alli whose header ricochets off the crossbar. The rebound comes straight to Wilson who taps it home but the referee immediately signals that he would like a replay. The review shows an apparent foul by Wilson on Akanji during the build-up, which the match official has deemed illegal! It remains 0-0!
Schar comes back onto the pitch after receiving some treatment which should please his manager – as his third substitution can be withheld and used for tactical reasons.
It’s Schar who has now brought play to a halt as he seems to have an issue with his leg as well. He’s limped off to receive treatment as Petkovic gets another substitute ready.
Maguire has his back turned to the pressing Switzerland attack as he looks to dribble the ball inside his own penalty area, feinting one way and then moving another in order to get around Seferovic who is left flat-footed. It’s more dangerous play from the England defence, but it’s worked a treat this time – which gets the England fans in the Estadio D. Afoso Henriques back into the match.
Kane has done well despite not scoring in his return to international action. Southgate recalls him after 75 minutes, with Wilson ready to make an impact.
OVER THE CROSSBAR FROM STERLING! Alexander-Arnold whips the ball in from the right and Sterling is able to win the header between two Switzerland defenders – sending his chance high above the goal despite being right in front of the target! It’s a tough chance for someone not known for his aerial prowess – but he really should have done better.
Southgate’s first change is at full-back, where Rose is replaced by his former Spurs team-mate Walker.
Kane and Akanji both go down in a heap after duelling for the ball, but it’s Kane who is penalised for his part in the battle. Switzerland are given a free-kick just outside their penalty area.
Zakaria looks to get involved as he strides down the right flank and loops in a cross which is caught far too easily by Pickford. It’s been a tough match for Seferovic, who has had 21 touches in 67 minutes – the least of any starter and seven fewer than Sommer in goal.
Switzerland survived the first hour with relatively little to worry about in terms of personnel, but Petkovic has been forced into two changes in four minutes as Shaqiri limps off grabbing his hamstring. Zuber is his replacement.
Rodriguez’s left-foot outswinging corner is taken to the near post but it somehow manages to filter through. Seferovic is unable to turn on the shot due to the presence of Gomez, who has had a solid match alongside Maguire.
It appears the injury is a significant one, and Petkovic will have to make an alteration as a result. It’s a like for like swap in midfield as Zakaria replaces Fernandes.
Play is stopped as Fernandes is down and looking in some discomfort. He is limping off without the help of the medical staff, but he appears to be waving to the crowd as if he knows he will be unable to walk off the knock.
XHAKA DENIED BY PICKFORD! Switzerland narrowly avoid an embarrassing own goal and try to make the most of it, turning defence into attack through Shaqiri, who lays it off for Xhaka just outside the 18. The Arsenal midfielder turns on the shot and fires a rocket towards Pickford – who spreads himself and makes a wonderful diving stop to deny the Swiss captain!
AN OWN GOAL ALMOST PUTS ENGLAND AHEAD! Lingard bursts down the left and finds Rose, whose dangerous, skipping delivery bounces just outside the six-yard box for Kane to side-foot home. Schar goes into a wild sliding challenge to push the ball beyond the England striker, turning it onto his own post before it bounces out!
Alexander-Arnold wraps his foot around the ball as he finds Kane in the middle of the penalty area from a deep position on the right – and the striker nods the ball towards goal, missing the inside of the post narrowly. The chance apparently wouldn’t have counted anyway as the referee blows his whistle for a Switzerland free-kick, as apparently Kane was too physical in the duel for the aerial ball.
Mbabu gets to the edge of the penalty area and attempts a lovely chip towards the back post with the toe of his boot but Gomez is alert to the danger as he heads it away at the first time of asking.
England have a free-kick on the right in a great position for a cross, but Alexander-Arnold gets his accuracy all wrong and mishits the delivery – putting it right in front of the goalkeeper who catches it on a hop.
Freuler has a sight at goal from the edge of the 18-yard box and lets a shot fly which is immediately blocked by Maguire who was on the scene immediately. The shot ultimately rolls tamely towards the gloves of Pickford who collects it gratefully.
England get the second half underway from the kick-off with the scores level at 0-0!
Switzerland need to get their forwards more involved in the second half if they wish to steal a win – and a third-place finish in the Nations League. Seferovic has looked woefully disconnected from the rest of play, with Shaqiri doing little to link the midfield to the attack. The second half will likely see the introduction of either Zakaria or Drmic to provide that effect. England must find more solidity in their midfield as both the basis of every attack and protection for the defence. Delph has had a poor first half and could be sacrificed should Southgate need to change things around.
The two sides enter the interval level at 0-0, though it’s quite surprising the match hasn’t seen its first goal. England looked the better of the two sides to start the match, with Kane striking his chip off the crossbar within the first three minutes. Sterling and Alli both had chances inside the six-yard box as the half wore on, but Sommer somehow managed to escape intact. Switzerland’s attacking has been relatively poor, save for a chance late in the first half in which Shaqiri was allowed to run through on goal unimpeded until the last second. Southgate should be happy with the way his team has created chances and kept pushing forward – with an opening goal for the Three Lions seemingly a matter of when, not if.
45' + 1'
HALF-TIME: SWITZERLAND 0-0 ENGLAND.
The fourth official indicates one additional minute at the end of the half for stoppages.
England are closing out the first half as they opened it – well in the ascendancy. They have had no shortage of issues creating down the flanks and hitting on the counter-attack, but they’ve seemed stifled when pushing through the centre of the pitch.
England have a corner which is taken to the near post and beat away immediately by the covering Mbabu.
England is caught sleeping on defence as Delph is caught out positionally in transition. Shaqiri is played through with a leading pass and gets a shot off inside the penalty rea, which would have hit the target if not for Rose’s last-ditch challenge which puts it out for a corner.
England have six players in and around the Switzerland penalty area as Dier hits a cross-pitch ball towards Alexander-Arnold, but the pass is wayward and it flies over the head of the Liverpool full-back and out for a throw as the attack breaks down.
ALLI SHOULD DO BETTER! Alexander-Arnold delivers another spectacular ball from the right wing, finding Alli in the box with pin-point accuracy. The Spurs forward leaps high above Schar, but he misses the net disappointingly.
Sterling looks to break through the Switzerland defence and get into the 18-yard box but he has a difficult time bringing the ball down under his control amidst four defenders – one of whom gets a crucial, dispossessing touch.
Mbabu makes a run down the wing, but chooses to cut inside instead of playing a first-time cross for Seferovic. He gets past Rose and looks to take on Maguire before playing it across the face of the 18-yard box for Fernandes. The former West Ham midfielder looks to slip Shaqiri through with a disguised pass – but his forward doesn’t make the run and it goes out for a goal-kick.
ANOTHER CHANCE GOES BEGGING FOR ENGLAND! Alexander-Arnold bombs forward down the right flank and sends a wonderful early cross for Sterling to attack, but the winger is a half-step behind the low delivery and it rolls across Sommer’s six-yard box before being cleared away on the left by Elvedi!
Lingard attempts to win the ball from Xhaka, but he shows his studs as he tries to make a step on the ball, catching the Arsenal midfielder instead. It’s a yellow card for the Manchester United player.
Delph plays a pass forward looking to release Alli, and he would have been through on goal had it not been for a last-ditch touch on the ball from Schar, who gets just enough on it to put it back to Sommer. At the other end, Xhaka looks to make the most of the missed England opportunity, but his shot rolls unconvincingly past the outside of the post.
The first yellow card of the match goes to Rose whose lunging tackle on Mbabu does not go unnoticed.
England looks to break on a counter-attack but the referee brings play back for a foul conceded by Xhaka. Kane looks to take the set-piece quickly and switch the play, but match official Ovidiu Hategan calls it back to be taken again.
England look the more confident of the two sides, with the return of Kane already paying dividends. He’s providing Pickford with a target during goal-kicks, and also linking play up wonderfully with Sterling and Alli. Despite his recent injury woes, the England captain certainly looks up and fit for this contest.England look the more confident of the two sides, with the return of Kane already paying dividends. He’s providing Pickford with a target during goal-kicks, and also linking play up wonderfully with Sterling and Alli. Despite his recent injury woes, the England captain certainly looks up and fit for this contest.
This is the 26th international meeting between England and Switzerland – England have won 17 of the previous 25 (W17 D5 L3).
Sterling is saved by Sommer from inside the six-yard box! The winger latches onto a wonderful leading pass from Kane and takes a strike from point-blank range, which is denied by the diving Switzerland goalkeeper! Had Sterling put the ball anywhere but the centre of the goal with his left foot – it surely would have put England ahead.
Sloppy play from Switzerland as Seferovic spreads play out to the right, but Mbabu’s lack of forward movement means the ball is allowed to roll out lazily for an England throw-in, deep in their own half.
Freuler has a pop at goal via a half-volley from outside the area. The midfielder connects well and catches the ball sweetly, but his accuracy leaves something to be desired as he fires it directly at Pickford who makes a rather comfortable save.
Kane wins a header in midfield which releases Alli, but Mbabu uses his body well to shield the ball against the forward, and wins a free-kick in his half – near the penalty area.
Despite issues which ultimately cost England a victory over Netherlands, Pickford and the defence seem content to continue playing out from the back, starting attacking moves from the back line. Stones was often caught in possession by the pressing of Babel and Promes, but perhaps the introduction of Gomez in his stead will lead to a bit more stability.
Seferovic has a crack at goal from a long way out, but the referee stops play as Pickford makes the save – as Shaqiri is caught offside during the build-up play.
KANE SHOULD HAVE SCORED! It could have been 1-0 to England within the first three minutes as Pickford starts an attacking move with a deep kick into midfield, and Kane gets the first touch to it to keep possession, before getting into position on the right-hand side of the box and chipping a ball over the outstretched hand of Sommer. The ball ricochets off the crossbar and bounces kindly for a Switzerland defender to clear!
Switzerland get the match underway from the kick-off!
It's wholesale changes for Gareth Southgate as only four of the XI who played against Netherlands – Pickford, Maguire, Delph and Sterling - retain their places. Alexander-Arnold and Rose replace Walker and Chilwell at full-back, while Gomez is in for Stones at centre-back. Dier and Lingard are given the nod in midfield over Rice and Barkley and in attack, Alli is chosen over Sancho and Kane is deemed fit enough to return and captain the side, meaning Rashford must be content with a place on the bench.
Petkovic makes two changes from the side that lost 3-1 to Portugal in the semi-finals. It’s one change in defence as Elvedi replaces Zakaria and one in midfield as Fernandes is in for Zuber.
ENGLAND SUBS: Kyle Walker, John Stones, Jordan Henderson, Jadon Sancho, Jack Butland, Ben Chilwell, Michael Keane, Declan Rice, Ross Barkley, Marcus Rashford, Callum Wilson, Tom Heaton.
ENGLAND XI (4-3-3): Jordan Pickford; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose; Fabian Delph, Eric Dier, Jesse Lingard; Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane, Dele Alli.
SWITZERLAND SUBS: Yvon Mvogo, Jonas Omlin, Francois Moubandje, Michael Lang, Loris Benito, Noah Okafor, Renato Steffen, Steven Zuber, Denis Zakaria, Djibril Sow, Albian Ajeti, Josip Drmic.
SWITZERLAND XI (3-4-2-1): Yann Sommer; Fabian Schar, Manuel Akanji, Nico Elvedi; Kevin Mbabu, Granit Xhaka, Remo Freuler, Ricardo Rodriguez; Xherdan Shaqiri, Edimilson Fernandes; Haris Seferovic.
With 10 minutes before kick-off, lets look at how the two sides will line up today, starting with Switzerland!
For the second tournament on the bounce, England suffered heartbreaking defeat in the semi-final stages, and must settle for a best-case scenario of bronze. Despite looking good for spells against Netherlands, some ropey defending ultimately cost the Three Lions a chance at the showpiece final. Their 3-1 arrested a run of seven straight matches without defeat; a streak that began in September 2018 with a 1-0 win over Switzerland.
The first semi-final in the inaugural Nations League saw Cristiano Ronaldo steal the show in Portugal’s 3-1 victory over Vladimir Petkovic’s side. The loss means that the Swiss must continue to seek their first victory in a knock-out round of an international tournament since beating Germany 4-2 on penalties in World Cup 1938.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE commentary of the Nations League third-place match between Switzerland and England!