Swiss miss out on topping Group A to last gasp German equaliser

June 23 – In 2006 as host of the World Cup, Germany came together in a way that the country had not experienced in more than 70 years. There was a huge sense of pride mixed with a twinge of nationalism that at first made Germans uncomfortable, however, by the end of the tournament, the Bundesflagge (national flag) would be flown throughout the country.

At the Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt, the Bundesflagge flag created a beautiful tapestry as the Mannschaft looked to secure top spot in Group A and avoid a showdown with Spain in the quarter-finals.

Opponents Switzerland didn’t read the script though and made German manager, Julian Nagelsmann’s team work extremely hard for a vital point in a 1-1 draw.

Switzerland will ultimately feel disappointment after a disciplined and organised performance that had all the hallmarks of head coach, Murat Yakin.

Dan Ndoye put Switzerland ahead

With captain, Granit Xhaka keeping the talismanic, Toni Kross under wraps, the hosts became too reliant on Jamal Musiala. The Bayern Munich superstar and good friend of England’s Jude Bellingham have similar styles when they deploy their directness on proceedings. This straight-line running can produce fear in opponents; however, Musiala isn’t known for his tackling.

In the 17th minute Maximillian Mittelstadt produced a wonderful cross from the left-hand side of the attacking third that Swiss defender, Michel Aebischer miskicked under pressure from Musiala. The ball was semi-cleared but ended up on the right foot of Robert Andrich who had pushed up from his full-back position.

He let fly from 25-yards. Yann Sommer in the Swiss goal resembled the cheese Switzerland is so famous for as a huge hole opened at his near post. 1-0 Germany.

But not so fast, as Italian referee Daniele Orsato was summoned by VAR to the pitch side monitor. Replays confirmed that Musiala had left his foot on Aebischer and the goal was controversially chalked off for a foul. This reprieve inspired the Swiss who until that point had offered very little in the attacking third.

Attacker, Dan Ndoye who had been fairly anonymous other than picking up a harsh yellow card for a non-existent challenge on Antoni Rudiger in the 24th minute, would burst into life and change the dynamic of the game just three minutes later.

Switzerland’s Yann Sommer  punches the ball clear 

Remo Freuler found an inch of space on the left and his pinpoint cross was brilliantly volleyed home by Ndoye, leaving Manuel Neuer no chance. Cue delirium from the red side of the stadium.

A response was required from Nagelsmann’s team but this was a labored Germany, and other than a sharp downward header from Rudiger that went wide, they looked short of ideas and inspiration.

The second half began with the Swiss team looking more dangerous while Germany continued to huff and puff. Long range efforts were the order of the day, however they either flew over the bar, were wide of the post or very comfortable for Sommer.

Kai Havertz kept putting himself in decent situations but could not direct any of his headers on goal except for the 84th minute when he hit the top of the bar with a looping effort.

With time running out, Granit Xhaka, almost capped a man-of-the-match display with a brilliant swerving shot that Neuer did superbly to tip around the post. With a second life, Germany poured forward in desperate search of an equaliser and substitute Niklas Fullkrug delivered.

Niclas Fuellkrug equalised in added time for Germany 

With just two minutes remaining in additional time added by the referee, David Raum found time and space to produce a fine cross, and Fullkrug leapt highest to plant a firm header past Sommer to spare Germany’s blushes and break Swiss hearts.

This was a harsh result on Switzerland but as the BBC host and former England international, Gary Lineker has famously said, “the game lasts ninety minutes and then the Germans win”. Once again proving that you can never count them out even when they’re seemingly finished on their feet and being helped up by the ropes alone.

Switzerland will now travel to Berlin and play the runner-up in Group B, while the hosts march on and will now go to the Westfalen Stadium in Dortmund on Saturday where they will face the runner-up to Group C.

This display though won’t put fear into any opponents and perhaps too much has been read into their two previous victories against very poor Scotland and Hungary sides.

Contact the writer of this story, Nick Webster, at moc.l1721857250labto1721857250ofdlr1721857250owedi1721857250sni@o1721857250fni1721857250