Relieved Schwery lauds Switzerland saviour Küffer
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Yannick Schwery cut a relieved figure after his side held Russia to a 0-0 draw that took them through to the semi-finals, a feat he largely attributed to goalkeeper Pascale Küffer.
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Yannick Schwery cut a relieved figure after Switzerland held Russia to a 0-0 draw to go through to the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship semi-finals and secure a FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup spot, a feat he largely attributed to goalkeeper Pascale Küffer.
Yannick Schwery, Switzerland coach
I would like to congratulate Russia on how they played: you could see how dejected they were afterwards. Had they scored from one of their chances it would have been them, not us, going to the World Cup. Our goalkeeper really played very well; she made a big contribution. I'm very happy, but mainly relieved because I would have preferred to score an early goal. My team ran themselves into the ground, so I would like to congratulate them and also my technical staff who have worked so hard. I'm really delighted we're staying on a bit longer.
It's an incredible achievement and the players reacted superbly to losing their captain [Chantal Fimian missed the game through injury] because that was a big blow for us. We did really well in midfield, in getting into the danger zone; the problem was that when we got near their goal we ran out of ideas. I told them at half-time to have a few more ideas in the final third, because we weren't taking any shots.
In the end we took some long shots from 20 or 30 metres, but that was our main problem. I didn't like that. In the end the goalkeeper saved us, there's no question about that. We have reached the semi-finals and we haven't even played well yet. I hope that we will finally play a great match against Germany and go all the way.
Aleksandr Shagov, Russia coach
It was a decent match. We weren't outstanding but we gave a good account of ourselves. The players did their best and we had some chances but that's football. We were unfortunate with our players getting injured, but Switzerland had a similar problem. We were a bit unlucky in thas at we created the chances and didn't take them but in football you have to get over these things.
We had problems in midfield because [Anastasia] Pozdeeva couldn't get into the game so [Anna] Cholovyaga dropped deeper, which she is very experienced at doing – she plays in that position for her club. We did the same against Belgium when [Marina] Kiskonen had similar problems.
I would like to thank the organisers because the tournament was run really smoothly. As for our players, they need to have individual training with their clubs to work on their technique. In general, though, the girls will have gained a lot from this experience: the understanding of their ability and of playing in a team tournament will stand the girls in good stead. The players have won here and they have lost here, and will have learnt from both experiences.