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Switzerland party crashed by Svěrkoš

Published: Sunday 8 June 2008, 0.58CET
Switzerland 0-1 Czech Republic
Václav Svěrkoš spoiled co-hosts Switzerland's big day by scoring the only goal of the curtain-raiser.
by Patrick Hart
from St. Jakob-Park
Switzerland party crashed by Svěrkoš
Václav Svěrkoš was on target for Czech Republic ©Getty Images

Match statistics

SwitzerlandCzech Republic

Goals scored0
1
Attempts on target7
 
4
Attempts off target5
 
2
Corners6
 
3
Fouls committed18
 
21
Yellow cards3
 
0
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 27/06/2012 11:56 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Sunday 8 June 2008, 0.58CET

Switzerland party crashed by Svěrkoš

Switzerland 0-1 Czech Republic
Václav Svěrkoš spoiled co-hosts Switzerland's big day by scoring the only goal of the curtain-raiser.

Czech Republic substitute Václav Svěrkoš crashed the party for co-hosts Switzerland by scoring the only goal of the UEFA EURO 2008 curtain-raiser in Basel.

Svěrkoš struck after 71 minutes to defeat a home side already deflated by a knee injury to forward Alexander Frei. The closest the Swiss came to rescuing a Group A point was a late Johan Vonlanthen shot off the underside of the crossbar.

If the opening ceremony did the traditional job of canning the host countries' best characteristics in an attractive package, the opening match started as anything but the typical cagey affair. There was a roar of anticipation when Switzerland captain Frei fired wide. Then Tranquillo Barnetta whipped in a cross to continue the frenzy. Valon Behrami was next to impress, outwitting Jaroslav Plašil and Marek Jankulovski before twice testing the Czech Republic's air defences.

But this was no siege. David Jarolím caused anxiety among the predominantly partisan home crowd with a cross-shot that back-tracking Diego Bengalio touched to safety. Jarolím's next act, however, was to lose a challenge to Behrami, providing the springboard for the midfielder to let fly a shot which Petr Čech parried. The deeper-lying Gökhan Inler took that as his cue to sidestep a defender and strike, albeit into Čech's arms.

It was a less intricate movement – a long thump forward unattended by Czech Republic centre-backs David Rozehnal and Tomáš Ujfaluši – which resulted in Switzerland's most incisive moment of the first half. Frei, his country's 35-goal leading scorer, darted between defenders and Čech but flicked his shot against the goalkeeper's legs.

Jan Koller has long been to the Czechs what Frei is to the Swiss. The St. Jakob-Park crowd got a reminder of the totem's menace when he escaped markers Philippe Senderos and Patrick Müller and narrowly failed to connect with Plašil's dangerous delivery.

Back at the other end, Frei stung the hands of Čech from 20 metres after a loose ball had undone Karel Brückner's side. But when Frei's left knee was caught in a tangle with Zdeněk Grygera close to half-time, the effect to the co-hosts was a far greater body blow than the challenge itself. The 28-year-old Borussia Dortmund player left the field in tears. Just what home coach Köbi Kuhn did not need.

The beginning of the second period brought some cheer. Hakan Yakin, on for Frei, announced his arrival by turning his markers and earning a free-kick which Barnetta placed centimetres too high. Then the ball just would not drop right for the No16 as he chested down Yakin's cross inside the area. Swiss passions stirred anew: Ludovic Magnin looped in a shot before Barnetta volleyed over from Stephan Lichtsteiner's inviting centre.

But after Magnin was booked for a foul on Libor Sionko, the Czech Republic forward should have scored from Jankulovski's perfectly flighted free-kick. Yakin was no less guilty with a free header as he attempted to enhance his reputation as an impact substitute. Instead, Svěrkoš took on the role with 19 minutes remaining.

Following a period of Czech pressure prompted by Sionko and Plašil, the striker latched on to Zdeněk Grygera's forward header to direct a cool, low finish to Benaglio's left – the 24-year-old's first international goal. A player from FC Baník Ostrava had just ruined Switzerland's big day.

Last updated: 22/01/14 15.24CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2008/matches/round=15093/match=300682/postmatch/report/index.html#sverkos+downs+switzerland

Lineups

Switzerland

Switzerland

Czech Republic

Czech Republic

1
BenaglioDiego Benaglio (GK)
1
ČechPetr Čech (GK)
3
MagninLudovic Magnin
Yellow Card59
2
GrygeraZdeněk Grygera
4
SenderosPhilippe Senderos
3
PolákJan Polák
5
LichtsteinerStephan Lichtsteiner
Substitution75
4
GalásekTomáš Galásek
8
InlerGökhan Inler
6
JankulovskiMarek Jankulovski
9
A. FreiAlexander Frei (C)
Substitution46
7
SionkoLibor Sionko
Substitution83
11
StrellerMarco Streller
9
KollerJan Koller
Substitution56
15
FernandesGelson Fernandes
14
JarolímDavid Jarolím
Substitution87
16
BarnettaTranquillo Barnetta
Yellow Card90+3
20
PlašilJaroslav Plašil
19
BehramiValon Behrami
Substitution84
21
UjfalušiTomáš Ujfaluši (C)
20
MüllerPatrick Müller
22
RozehnalDavid Rozehnal

Substitutes

18
ZuberbühlerPascal Zuberbühler (GK)
16
BlažekJaromír Blažek (GK)
21
JakupovićEldin Jakupović (GK)
23
ZítkaDaniel Zítka (GK)
2
DjourouJohan Djourou
5
KováčRadoslav Kováč
Substitution87
6
HuggelBenjamin Huggel
8
FeninMartin Fenin
7
CabanasRicardo Cabanas
10
SvěrkošVáclav Svěrkoš
Substitution56
Goal71
10
Hakan YakinHakan Yakin
Substitution46
11
VlčekStanislav Vlček
Substitution83
12
DerdiyokEren Derdiyok
Substitution84
13
KadlecMichal Kadlec
13
GrichtingStéphane Grichting
15
BarošMilan Baroš
14
GygaxDaniel Gygax
17
MatějovskýMarek Matějovský
17
SpycherChristoph Spycher
18
SivokTomáš Sivok
22
VonlanthenJohan Vonlanthen
Substitution75
Yellow Card76
19
SkácelRudolf Skácel
23
P. DegenPhilipp Degen

Coach

Jakob Kuhn (SUI) Karel Brückner (CZE)

Referee

Roberto Rosetti (ITA)

Assistant referees

Alessandro Griselli (ITA), Paolo Calcagno (ITA)

Fourth official

Stéphane Lannoy (FRA)

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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