Yakin says Swiss did not deserve to lost to England

July 8 – Switzerland head coach Murat Yakin (pictured) insists his team did not deserve to be heading home from Euro 2024 and that England, not for the first time, had luck on their side in their quarterfinal clash.

The Three Lions advanced to the semi-finals after winning a penalty shootout as Jordan Pickford saved the only one of the nine efforts on goal.

“It hurts. We put so much effort in, created so many chances,” said Yakin. “I’m sad for the lads, and for the nation. England didn’t have many chances and we created quite a few of our own.”

Manuel Akanji missed his side’s first spot kick while the Three Lions converted all five of theirs to land a place in the semi-finals in Dortmund.  “You give responsibility to your players, and you can’t be angry at them afterwards – players who played a fantastic tournament, especially Manu,” said Yakin.

During the tournament, Switzerland held hosts Germany to a draw and eliminated holders Italy. “Of course, there’s deep emptiness, deep sadness. But this is the kind of sadness where everybody, every individual, has to work through it,” Yakin added. “We caused a lot of problems for big teams so we shouldn’t let our heads go down.”

“We don’t deserve to be going home but we can be really proud. We don’t need to hide any more. We were eliminated because it wasn’t quite enough. A penalty shoot-out is a matter of luck and we didn’t have it.”

Granit Xhaka led by example again for Switzerland but could not extend his campaign since moving to Germany with Bayer Leverkusen.

Yakin revealed the former Arsenal midfielder was not fully fit and hailed him for playing against the odds.  “He has been playing hurt. He suffered it early against Italy and hasn’t trained much this week.  For me it’s a miracle that he played against England. It speaks of his character and will.”

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