switzerland wales report highlights

MATCH REPORT: WALES VS SWITERZLAND, Wales draw their opener against Switzerland thanks to Danny Ward's saves

opened their Euro campaign with an entertaining 1-1 draw against . The second game of took us to Baku the Azerbaijan capital. It was a pleasant sight as fans filled up the stadium in partial capacity. Wales came into the game looking to replicate their success from Euro 2016. They were lucky to come out with a point against a dominant Switzerland side.

 

 

The game opened in expected fashion as Switzerland had the majority of the ball. They were creating all the chances and Wales were defending doggedly. The first half ended 0-0 as both sides failed to score. Breel Embolo the 24-year-old striker opened the scoring shortly after the break as he headed a Xherdan Shaqiri corner from the right.

The momentum shifted in Wales’s favour after the goal but they failed to score. The Dragons were attacking aggressively and won a corner in the final quarter of the game. A short corner was played out to Joseff Morrell who curled in a delicious ball for Kieffer Moore to head home. Mario Gavranovic thought he won the game for the Swiss as he volleyed home 10 minutes from time only for it to be ruled out for offside. Ward made key saves late in the game.

Wales entered the game as the home side and donned their famous red kit. Robert Page who is filling in for Ryan Giggs named a strong starting lineup. The Dragons switched to a four-man back in a 4-3-3 as opposed to a 3-4-3 in their friendlies. They played in a 4-5-1 on the field with Kieffer Moore playing as a sole striker with and Daniel James playing as wide midfielders.

Vladimir Petkovic went with his tried and tested 3-4-1-2 with his striker general Haris Seferovic returning to the starting eleven. Xherdan Shaqiri played as a number ten and thrived in midfield. Breel Embolo started the game as a secondary striker and made the difference in the game.

 

 

THOU SHALL NOT PASS

Wales had a fast start to the game in the first five minutes as they found Gareth Bale their talisman to do some magic. Switzerland recovered well and started to dictate the proceedings. The Swiss wing-backs were menacing as they attacked aggressively. Wales defended for their lives as they survived wave after wave of Swiss attacks.

 

 

It was Wales who had the biggest chance in the game early on. Yann Sommer the Swiss custodian fingertipped Moore’s goalbound header from Dan James’ cross. Fabian Schar of Switzerland saw a sumptuous backheel flick saved by Danny Ward at the near post from a corner. Apart from these chances, there were no considerable attempts from either side.

Wales’ tight defence meant the Swiss found no spaces and resorted to shooting from outside the box. Breel Embolo was a constant menace. Embolo had a chance to go down in the box under pressure from Mepham. The Gladbach striker opted against it as the half ended at 0-0.

 

CORNERS GALORE

Both sides came out with more intent in the second half as they looked to score. Embolo won a corner with his pace and skill. Shaqiri the set-piece master delivered a perfect cross for Embolo to head home past Ward.  Embolo used his physicality to shrug off challenges and get a header on target.

This goal turned fortunes for Wales. The Dragons enjoyed their best spell of the game as they held onto the ball. They started creating chances and won a corner in the 73rd minute. It was taken shortly and was rolled to Morrell. The midfielder whipped a cross for an unmarked Moore to head home. The Cardiff City striker was shockingly unmarked and had a free header on goal.

 

 

It looked like Gavranovic won the match only for VAR to intervene. The striker who scored a hattrick in the warmups was benched for Seferovic. He came on to replace him and immediately made an impact. He volleyed a Breel Embolo header from an offside position.

 

STEP UP BALE

Gareth Bale had a quiet game. The energetic winger was in form for Spurs just before the Euros. He was expected to lead them once again like in 2016. However, Bale was in a rut for the national side coming into this game. He started the game on his favourite right-wing and was expected to pull strings.

Wales fast start early on saw Bale get a chance to dribble on goal but he was stopped in his tracks. For a while, every Wales attack gravitated towards Bale in the first half. Swiss were alert in marking Bale and denied him any space to thrive. A dull first half ended as Bale was not able to inspire them.

Bale had a free-kick to do some magic in the second half which he blasted wide. Bale ended the game without a goal or an assist. He is now without a goal for 12 games for his country. In contrast, it was Dan James who shone for Wales. The Manchester United winger was a constant menace on the break and did his defensive duties to perfection.

 

 

Wales had to thank Danny Ward for his incredible saves in the end. The lanky goalie saved another Embolo header and made three saves in total to spare Wales’ blushes. They were lucky to walk away with a point.

Gareth Bale has to definitely step up as they if Wales are to repeat their 2016 heroics. They face a demoralized Turkey next. The Swiss meanwhile take on hot favourites Italy at the Stadio Olimpic

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