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Victory moves Switzerland closer

Published: Wednesday 11 June 2003, 19.46CET
Switzerland 3-2 Albania Unbeaten Switzerland remain top of Group 10 but were made to work for victory.

Match statistics

SwitzerlandAlbania

Goals scored3
 
2
Yellow cards1
 
4
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 27/06/2012 11:57 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Wednesday 11 June 2003, 19.46CET

Victory moves Switzerland closer

Switzerland 3-2 Albania Unbeaten Switzerland remain top of Group 10 but were made to work for victory.

Unbeaten Switzerland remain in pole position in UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifying Group 10, but visitors Albania did not make life easy for them in the summer heat of Geneva.

First-half goals
Bernt Haas and Alexander Frei set Switzerland on their way either side of Altin Lala's goal in the first half, and after Ricardo Cabanas scored a third 18 minutes from the end, Ervin Skela's late penalty could only prove a consolation.

Russia draw
Switzerland, who were held 1-1 in Albania in October, went into the game looking to return to winning ways having lost a two-goal lead in drawing 2-2 with Russia in Basel on Saturday. Albania had been desperately unlucky to lose to a late own goal in the Republic of Ireland.

Haas on target
However, it was the home side who struck first in the eleventh minute. Haas was the man on target from Murat Yakin's corner. But Albania began to take control of the game in this period, and within 12 minutes, it was 1-1. A fine passing move ended with Lala shooting past the diving Swiss goalkeeper Jörg Stiel.

Frei goal
Nine minutes later, though, Switzerland were back ahead. Frei, who scored both the goals against Russia, turned in a strong Hakan Yakin volley to take his personal tally to 13 from 19 internationals. This time the Swiss were able to keep control of the game until the break.

Cabanas scores
The home side began the second half strongly, and Cabanas was unlucky to see a free-kick touched over the bar by Albanian goalkeeper Foto Strakosha. However, the same player was able to beat Strakosha when he turned in a Murat Yakin free-kick.

Late penalties
Just when it seemed Switzerland had done enough, though, Albania pulled another back. Igli Tare was tripped in the area and Skela's penalty eluded Stiel to revive Albania's chances. They could not produce that equaliser, however, and Switzerland had a penalty of their own in stoppage time when Stéphane Chapuisat was fouled by Besnik Hasi. Hakan Yakin missed, but Switzerland were victorious and remain two points ahead of Ireland, who beat Georgia 2-0, with two games left.

'A difficult win'
After the game, Chapuisat said: "It was a very important victory, a very important three points. It was also a difficult win, especially with the heat. The Albanians made problems for us. They were very strong technically and moved the ball well." Switzerland visit third-placed Russia, who have a game in hand but are five points adrift, on 10 September.

Slim chance
Albania are six points behind Switzerland, but with two games left against bottom side Georgia, the home tie on 10 September, still have a slim chance of making the play-offs.

Last updated: 30/03/04 16.06CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2004/matches/round=1579/match=69057/postmatch/report/index.html#victory+moves+switzerland+closer

Lineups

Switzerland

Switzerland

Albania

Albania

1
StielJörg Stiel (C)
1
StrakoshaFotaq Strakosha (C)
2
HaasBernt Haas
Goal10
2
BeqiriElvin Beqiri
Yellow Card13
3
BernerBruno Berner
Yellow Card79
3
ÇipiGeri Çipi
Substitution46
4
HenchozStéphane Henchoz
Substitution75
6
HasiBesnik Hasi
5
YakinMurat Yakin
7
BellaiArian Bellai
6
VogelJohann Vogel
8
BushiAlban Bushi
Substitution62
7
CabanasRicardo Cabanas
Goal71
11
AliajAdrian Aliaj
Yellow Card71
8
WickyRaphael Wicky
Substitution64
13
SkelaErvin Skela
Goal86
9
A. FreiAlexander Frei
Goal32
Substitution83
14
LalaAltin Lala
Goal22
Yellow Card44
10
Hakan YakinHakan Yakin
17
TareIgli Tare
Yellow Card5
11
ChapuisatStéphane Chapuisat
18
DuroKlodian Duro

Substitutes

12
ZuberbühlerPascal Zuberbühler (GK)
12
BeqajArjan Beqaj (GK)
14
ZwyssigMarco Zwyssig
Substitution75
10
RraklliAltin Rraklli
Substitution62
16
CelestiniFabio Celestini
Substitution83
15
CanaLorik Cana
Substitution46
17
SpycherChristoph Spycher
Substitution64
16
DragushaMehmet Dragusha
13
MeyerRemo Meyer
4
DedeNevil Dede
15
MagninLudovic Magnin
5
FakajErvin Fakaj
18
RamaMilaim Rama
9
MyrtajFlorian Myrtaj

Coach

Jakob Kuhn (SUI) Hans-Peter Briegel (GER)

Referee

Stephen Graham Bennett (ENG)

Assistant referees

Kevin Pike (ENG), David Babski (ENG)

Fourth official

Uriah Rennie (ENG)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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