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Swiss strike late to eliminate Dutch

Published: Wednesday 10 September 2008, 0.55CET
Switzerland 1-0 Netherlands
Reto Ziegler's late free-kick enabled Switzerland to win Group 5 and end Dutch hopes of a third straight UEFA European U21 Championship triumph.
by Daniel Schaub
from Schaffhausen
Swiss strike late to eliminate Dutch
Reto Ziegler's free-kick eliminated the Jong Oranje ©Getty Images
Published: Wednesday 10 September 2008, 0.55CET

Swiss strike late to eliminate Dutch

Switzerland 1-0 Netherlands
Reto Ziegler's late free-kick enabled Switzerland to win Group 5 and end Dutch hopes of a third straight UEFA European U21 Championship triumph.

Reto Ziegler's late free-kick enabled Switzerland to win Group 5 and end Dutch hopes of a third straight UEFA European Under-21 Championship triumph.

Victory essential
The hosts knew that anything less than a victory would see them fail to reach the play-offs with the Netherlands topping the group – the Jong Orange having started the day three points above their opponents. Foppe de Haan's charges looked on course to progress, especially when Fabrizio Zambrella missed a second-half penalty, until the closing minutes when Ziegler turned the qualification situation on its head.

Feltscher chances
A crowd of 3,750 saw Switzerland take command from the first whistle and create a couple of good chances, both of which were squandered. The visitors appeared the more technically adept of the teams but could not pick out the final ball under pressure from a passionate home side. At the other end, Frank Feltscher twice went close after being supplied by left-back Ziegler, though the best opening of the first period was spurned just before half-time by Blerim Dzemaili, who had sat out UEFA EURO 2008™ with torn cruciate ligaments.

Zambrella woe
An even more notable invitation to win the group came and went for the Swiss eleven minutes from time, when Calvin Jong A-Pin held Feltscher in the area but substitute Zambrella failed to hold his nerve. From that moment the match seemed destined for a draw, with the Netherlands heading for the play-offs as group winners, until Ziegler's spectacular set-piece. To cap a disastrous night for the Dutch, they were eliminated from the competition altogether as Denmark beat them to the fourth best runners-up berth on goal difference – both sides having ended the group stage on 16 points.

Last updated: 27/03/13 6.28CET

http://www.uefa.com/under21/season=2009/matches/round=15084/match=300291/postmatch/report/index.html#swiss+strike+late+eliminate+dutch