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Heartbroken hosts seek consolation win

UEFA EURO 2008™ co-hosts Switzerland complete their Group A programme against Portugal in what will be the countries' first meeting at a major tournament.

Switzerland will hope to celebrate after their first major championship game with Portugal
Switzerland will hope to celebrate after their first major championship game with Portugal ©Getty Images

Switzerland may still be digesting the bitter disappointment of their early elimination from UEFA EURO 2008™ but Köbi Kuhn's co-hosts still have one remaining commitment in the form of a final Group A fixture against a Portugal side already assured first place in the section.

• If Portugal's goal is to maintain their winning momentum after two previous victories, for Switzerland the incentive is to give their supporters at least something to sing about – and a first Swiss victory in UEFA European Championship finals history would surely constitute that for a team now guaranteed the wooden spoon.

• Portugal earned their place in the quarter-finals after beating the Czech Republic 3-1 in Geneva on Wednesday. After Deco and Libor Sionko had traded first-half goals, Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men took charge after the break when Cristiano Ronaldo (63) and Ricardo Quaresma (90+1) found the net.

• That made it six points out of six for the Portuguese, 2-0 winners against Turkey in their opening game.

• Switzerland's hopes of finding a positive response to their 1-0 opening loss to the Czechs evaporated in the face of Turkey's 2-1 comeback victory in Basel. Hakan Yakin gave the Swiss a 32nd-minute lead but they succumbed to second-half strikes from Semih Şentürk and Arda Turan, the latter two minutes into added time.

• This will be the countries' first encounter at a major tournament but Portugal have had the better of their recent meetings – winning three and drawing three of the last six.

• The sides crossed swords most recently in qualifying for the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Although Switzerland eventually progressed to the finals in the United States, Portugal got the better of their contests by earning a 1-1 draw in Berne in March 1993 and then defeating them 1-0 in Porto seven months later through a ninth-minute goal from João Pinto.

• Switzerland's last victory against Portugal came in a friendly in Lugano in March 1982, when goals from Gianpietro Zappa (42 minutes) and André Egli (62) earned them a 2-1 win.

• The first ever meeting between the teams was a play-off in Milan for a place in the first round of the 1938 FIFA World Cup. Switzerland won 2-1, thereby forcing Portugal to wait another 28 years for their debut appearance on the world stage.

• Overall Switzerland have won six, drawn five and lost eight of their 19 matches against Portugal. However, their home record against the Portuguese provides more favourable reading, with five wins, three draws and only two losses.

• Switzerland goalkeeper Diego Benaglio spent two and a half seasons with Portuguese Liga team CD Nacional, before joining Germany's VfL Wolfsburg during the January winter break.

• Switzerland midfielder Gelson Fernandes and Portugal pair Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani are on opposite sides of Manchester's blue-red divide with their respective clubs Manchester City FC and Manchester United FC.

• Portugal defender Fernando Meira is a team-mate of Switzerland's Ludovic Magnin at VfB Stuttgart and also played alongside forward Marco Streller at the Bundesliga club.

• As a player with FC Zürich, Kuhn was on the receiving end of a 3-0 defeat at Sporting Clube de Portugal in a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final first-leg tie in 1973/74. Kuhn missed the return as Zürich went down 4-1 on aggregate.

• Switzerland's Johan Vonlanthen holds the record for being the tournament's youngest goalscorer. He was 18 years and 141 days old when he found the net in the 3-1 defeat by France on 21 June 2004.

• Switzerland were led at EURO '96™ by Portuguese coach Artur Jorge, who later had a spell in charge of the Portugal national team.

• This is Switzerland's third UEFA European Championship finals appearance, following two previous first-round exits in 1996 and 2004.

• Portugal's best performance in four previous appearances came at UEFA EURO 2004™, where they finished runners-up. They have never once failed to advance from the first round, present tournament included.

• Three teams have won the UEFA European Championship as hosts. Spain and Italy triumphed in 1964 and 1968 respectively, when staging the semi-finals and final. France in 1984 became the only winners since a proper final tournament was established in 1980.

• This is the 13th edition of the UEFA European Championship and the eighth edition that features a final tournament with a group phase.