Semi-finals - 22/06/2011 - 21:00CET (21:00 local time) - Herning Stadion - Herning
1-0
Switzerland win after extra time  

Switzerland - Czech Republic 1-0 - 22/06/2011 - Match page - Under-21 2011

 
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Tami warns Switzerland of Czech threat

Published: Tuesday 21 June 2011, 19.10CET
Switzerland may have "raised the level of our game" during their serene progress to the semi-finals but they will have to be on their mettle against the Czech Republic, says Pierluigi Tami.
by Simon Hart
from Herning

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Tournament statistics

SwitzerlandCzech Republic

Goals scored7
 
4
Attempts on target20
 
13
Attempts off target34
 
29
Corners29
 
21
Fouls committed94
 
125
Yellow cards9
 
16
Red Cards0
1

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Published: Tuesday 21 June 2011, 19.10CET

Tami warns Switzerland of Czech threat

Switzerland may have "raised the level of our game" during their serene progress to the semi-finals but they will have to be on their mettle against the Czech Republic, says Pierluigi Tami.

Switzerland may have swept into the semi-finals of this UEFA European Under-21 Championship on the back of a red-hot run of form but that now counts for nothing according to their coach Pierluigi Tami, who warned they must write "a new page" against the Czech Republic.

We have to turn over a new page. It is a semi-final and there are 90 minutes, perhaps more, to get to the final. We can't think about what we've done but just concentrate on this game
Pierluigi Tami
I expect a better performance from my team. In the group stage we had problems attacking; I expect we will play better
Jakub Dovalil

The Swiss topped Group A with maximum points and did not concede a single goal, but now face a Czech side whom Tami considered one of the tournament favourites even before a ball had been kicked.

Speaking on the eve of Wednesday's Herning semi-final, Tami said: "We have to turn over a new page. It is a semi-final and there are 90 minutes, perhaps more, to get to the final. We can't think about what we've done but just concentrate on this game.

"I said at the start of the tournament that I saw the Czech Republic as one of the favourites," he added. "They're strong physically and tactically so I'm not surprised to see them in the semi-finals. They are a strong team, but as this tournament has gone on we've raised the level of our game and for that reason I think it's an even contest."

It was certainly even when these teams last met in U21 competition – in a qualifying play-off for the 2004 finals in November 2003, a ten-man Switzerland side prevailing on penalties after overturning a first-leg home defeat with an identical 2-1 away success.

Eight years on, the Swiss face a Czech team buoyed by the last-gasp comeback victory over England on Sunday that secured their qualification as Group B runners-up behind Spain. "It was a big boost for us mentally for the rest of the tournament," said coach Jakub Dovalil. Having escaped elimination, Dovalil is now demanding more from his men, particularly his attackers, as they bid to emulate their 2002 triumph at this level.

"Tomorrow, we'll attack," said the coach. "I expect a better performance from my team. In the group stage we had problems attacking; I expect we will play better tomorrow." To that end, Dovalil must first solve a selection puzzle regarding his forwards. He reverted to his preferred 4-1-4-1 formation against England, with Libor Kozák selected as lone striker in favour of Tomáš Pekhart, after an unsuccessful experiment with 4-4-2 against Spain.

Pekhart's late winner boosts his chances of a recall although the inclusion of his fellow scoring substitute, Jan Chramosta, would entail another tactical shuffle. "There's a chance there'll be some fresh players," said Dovalil, who must also decide whether or not to recall Lukáš Vácha after suspension – Lukáš Mareček deputised against England.

Tami has his own decisions to make, with Xavier Hochstrasser and Moreno Costanzo both candidates to replace suspended midfielder Granit Xhaka.

Whoever comes in, the coach believes his squad has the strength to compensate with Xhaka's absence: "From the beginning I've said we have a team of 23. We have first-choice players with their clubs on the bench and I don't think it will change the balance of the team." With a first U21 final in sight, he will hope his players prove him right.

Last updated: 28/01/12 3.21CET

http://www.uefa.com/under21/season=2011/matches/round=2000003/match=2003416/prematch/preview/index.html#swiss+czechs+preview

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