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Stalemate takes Switzerland through with France from EURO 2016 Group C

Switzerland 0-0 France
The hosts struck the woodwork three times, through Paul Pogba – twice – and Dimitri Payet, but the draw ensured both teams went through.

Switzerland 0-0 France: the story in photos ©AFP/Getty Images
  • France and Switzerland finish first and second in Group A after drawing in Lille
  • Paul Pogba strikes the crossbar twice for Les Bleus early on
  • Substitute Dimitri Payet is also denied by the woodwork
  • Group winners France earn meeting with one of the four best third-placed teams in last 16
  • Switzerland, runners-up, take on Group C runners-up in first round of 16 tie, in Saint-Etienne

Hosts France and Switzerland both reached the round of 16 as a goalless draw in Lille assured them of first and second place respectively in UEFA EURO 2016 Group A.

EURO 2016: All you need to know

France had needed late goals to beat both Romania and Albania and nearly gave themselves an early deficit to retrieve as Fabian Schär's flick from a corner was almost touched in by Paul Pogba at the far post.

Pogba was quickly involved at the other end, firing in a shot from distance that nearly caught out Yann Sommer; only the top of the crossbar spared the goalkeeper's blushes after he had fumbled.

Pogba happy with top spot for France
Pogba happy with top spot for France

Seconds later, the Switzerland No1 sprang to his left to tip a fierce, angled Pogba drive behind, but he was helpless again in the 17th minute as the Juventus midfielder surged forward and thumped in a 25-metre effort that again struck the woodwork.

The next clear chance took until the 57th minute to arrive, Antoine Griezmann brilliantly exchanging passes with André-Pierre Gignac before letting fly a shot that Sommer palmed behind.

With the pace of the game dropping, a draw seemed on the cards, but no one had told Moussa Sissoko. The midfielder broke through three challenges on the right and delivered a deep cross that found Dimitri Payet in space, the substitute smacking a volley off the bar.

EURO 2016 highlights: Spotlight on Dimitri Payet
EURO 2016 highlights: Spotlight on Dimitri Payet

Switzerland held out, however, ensuring the celebrations at the end would be shared.

Man of the match: Yann Sommer (Switzerland)
The Swiss goalkeeper got away with one early on as the crossbar rescued him, but was largely flawless thereafter, making one excellent stop to deny Pogba and looking assured thereafter. Has kept two clean sheets in three matches.

Pogba with a point to prove

Antoine Griezmann: EURO 2016 top scorer
Antoine Griezmann: EURO 2016 top scorer

Dropped for the matchday two win against Albania, Pogba was restored to the starting line-up here and began in thrilling style. He could have easily had three goals within the first 20 minutes, having been switched to the left of a three-man midfield by Didier Deschamps. He faded somewhat after that, but remained the game's most likely source of inspiration.

France's strength in depth
Deschamps rested N'Golo Kanté, Payet, Olivier Giroud and Blaise Matuidi from his XI, yet there was no sign of the French attacks lacking understanding. Gignac played the Giroud role, holding the ball up to bring team-mates into play, while his goal on matchday two has clearly done Griezmann's confidence good.

Swiss need more than set pieces
Switzerland came into the match with both their goals at the tournament having come from corners, and set-pieces again seemed their most likely source of reward. Vladimir Petković brought in Breel Embolo for Haris Seferović as the lone striker, but needs his attack to show more threat from open play in the knockout stage.

Embolo 'proud' as Switzerland make history
Embolo 'proud' as Switzerland make history

Team reporters' views from Stade Pierre Mauroy
Matthew Howarth, Switzerland (@UEFAcomMattH)
The draw seals Switzerland's place in the knockout rounds for the first time. If the Nati rode their luck at times, with Pogba and substitute Payet striking the woodwork, Petković's side were good value for the point. The 52-year-old will be pleased with Embolo's display too: the Basel youngster could have opened the scoring in the first half and caused the French defence plenty of problems with his speed and strength.

David Crossan, France (@UEFAcomDavidC)
Pogba illuminated the first half, rattling the crossbar twice and showcasing his outstanding technique on his recall. Yohan Cabaye and Sissoko also proved they are more than able deputies in midfield, while Payet nearly won it off the bench. Deschamps will be pleased with his squad men and another defensive shut-out. Understandably the intensity dropped a touch towards the end with a point fine for both teams.

EURO 2016: Team of the Tournament


Switzerland: Sommer; Rodríguez, Djourou, Schär, Lichtsteiner (c); Mehmedi (Lang 86), Xhaka, Džemaili, Behrami, Shaqiri (Fernandes 79); Embolo (Seferović 74)
Substitutes: Hitz, Bürki, Moubandje, Elvedi, Von Bergen, Frei, Zakaria, Tarashaj, Derdiyok
Coach: Vladimir Petković

France: Lloris (c); Evra, Koscielny, Rami, Sagna; Pogba, Cabaye, Sissoko; Griezmann (Matuidi 77), Gignac, Coman (Payet 63)
Substitutes: Mandanda, Costil, Jallet, Kanté, Giroud, Martial, Schneiderlin, Mangala, Digne, Umtiti
Coach: Didier Deschamps

Referee: Damir Skomina (Slovenia)