Mehmedi earns Switzerland point against Romania in EURO 2016 Group A
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Romania 1 -1 Switzerland
Admir Mehmedi's brilliant volley earns Switzerland a valuable draw but Romania can take heart after another battling display.
Article top media content
- Bogdan Stancu puts Romania ahead from the penalty spot
- Switzerland waste chances but Admir Mehmedi's volley brings them level
- Next Group A games: 19 June, Romania v Albania, Switzerland v France
Switzerland edged closer to qualification for the last 16 of UEFA EURO 2016 with a gutsy draw at Parc des Princes, battling back from a goal down to share the Group A spoils thanks to a wonderful left-foot volley from Admir Mehmedi.
Romania had led through Bogdan Stancu's 18th-minute penalty and they grew in stature after surviving several Swiss missses in the first half, notably by Haris Seferović.
The Eintracht Frankfurt striker sent a shot wide of Ciprian Tătăruşanu's left-hand post after six minutes and had another effort saved by the keeper soon afterwards. Blerim Džemaili also headed a presentable opportunity wide.
Romania made them pay after 18 minutes, when Stephan Lichtsteiner fouled the lively Alexandru Chipciu inside the area and Stancu scored his second penalty of the tournament, slotting into the bottom left corner.
Cristian Săpunaru could have doubled Romania's advantage but hit a post. Despite having had most of the ball, and the better chances, Switzerland were rattled.
They settled after the break, though, and drew level in fine style when Mehmedi fired home the sweetest of left-foot volleys after 57 minutes. From that point on, it was all Switzerland and they can head into their final match against France full of confidence.
Man of the match
Granit Xhaka showed both style and steel in a splendid display in Switzerland's midfield. He was at the heart of much of their possession football and can really make a name for himself in this EURO.
They didn't play brilliantly against Albania in their opening game yet they got the win. Here, Switzerland were facing mounting problems but they showed character and no little skill to find a way back into the match. What will happen when it all clicks, you wonder?
Case for defence
Romania were tough to beat in qualifying and have revealed similar defensive capabilities here in France. There were some Swiss misses, for sure, but in Vlad Chiricheș they have a defensive leader who can mix it with the best attackers. Brave as a lion, the skipper's colleagues all showed strength at the back.
Paul-Daniel Zaharia, Romania @UEFAcomPaulDZ
Romania lived very dangerously, sitting back and inviting pressure. They also looked to strike on the break, however, and did so to good effect in the first half. However, Switzerland had created plenty of opportunities and the Romanian approach came unstuck in the second period. A draw was a fair result, but it leaves Switzerland three points better off in Group A – Romania will live dangerously until the end of this group stage.
Matthew Howarth, Switzerland @UEFAcomMattH
On the balance of play, both teams should be reasonably happy with the outcome. Switzerland improved after Mehmedi's equaliser and exerted some serious pressure on their opponents, but failed to muster a serious chance after their leveller. A point against France on Sunday would guarantee the Nati's place in the knockout phase for the first time in their history.
Romania: Tătăruşanu; Raţ (Filip 62), Grigore, Chiricheş (c), Săpunaru; Chipciu, Pintilii (Hoban 46), Stancu (Andone 84), Prepeliţă, Torje; Keşerü
Substitutes: Pantilimon, Lung, Măţel, Moţi, Alibec, Stanciu, Găman, Sânmărtean, Popa
Coach: Anghel Iordănescu
Switzerland: Sommer; Rodríguez, Djourou, Schär, Lichtsteiner (c); Mehmedi, Xhaka, Džemaili (Lang 83), Behrami, Shaqiri (Tarashaj 90+1); Seferović (Embolo 63)
Substitutes: Hitz, Bürki, Moubandje, Elvedi, Von Bergen, Frei, Zakaria, Fernandes, Derdiyok
Coach: Vladimir Petković
Referee: Sergei Karasev (Russia)