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Football: Can the Swiss team beat Denmark?

Football: Can the Swiss team beat Denmark?

A trial match for the European Championship

Switzerland draw 0-0 in Denmark – but lose goalkeeper Yann Sommer to injury

No goals in the team's first match in 2024. What remains after the 0-0 draw between Denmark and Switzerland?

Yann Sommer collapses. A little later it must be replaced.

Toto Marti / Fresh Fox /

The test match in Copenhagen ended in a goalless draw and they did not deserve to win. This draw in the first international match of the year should be rated much better than draws against Kosovo or Israel last fall. The test against Denmark is usually a relaxing warm-up for the tasks to come in the European Championship summer. But what is normal in this world of football, especially in Switzerland? Therefore, the confrontation carries much greater weight given the recent history of turmoil and poor performance. It is a slightly different type of metric.

Yes, the Swiss are under surveillance. Especially since they have to get back on the right path. Here in Denmark, where there has been no international win yet. Here they provide evidence for the first time that there is more to the mood again. Within the team and between it and coach Murat Yakin. In plain English that means: they are pulling themselves together more than they did in partly unsatisfactory performances in the European Championship qualifiers, and playing with more heart. Ultimately more focused. They are initially doing so without Xherdan Shaqiri, who will sit on the bench for the time being.

With Char and the Three-Man Chain

Yakin announced before the match that he would expand the tactical scope to give the defense more stability. His players must be more efficient in attack. As announced a few days ago, he wants to make it through a three-man series, so Nate's coach is already letting him play. It also means that Fabien Schar has been given a chance to prove himself after being on the brink of late. Manuel Akanji is the centre-back, while Ricardo Rodriguez plays on his left. Sylvain Widmer and Dan Ndoye play as wingers in midfield.

Schar did not shine against Denmark only through his interventions.  His crosses to Ndoye brought dynamism to the Swiss game for once.

Schar did not shine against Denmark only through his interventions. His crosses to Ndoye brought dynamism to the Swiss game for once.

Toto Marti/Fresh Focus

Nothing happens on the field for a long time. This is not talking about the Danish stars surrounding Christian Eriksen and company, but about the Swiss who are solid in defence. But the visitors did not succeed in achieving anything offensively at the wonderful Parken Stadium, except for a half-chance in the 11th minute from a Ndoye cross. After just under 25 minutes, the Danes, after all the 2021 European Championship semi-finalists, could also describe themselves as “dangerous”. In extreme cases, Captain Granit Xhaka has to deal with it. The subsequent angle causes a lot of confusion. But Yann Sommer is in goal, but then he has to be taken care of because he twisted his right foot. This should have consequences. Shortly afterwards, Sommer had to stop the Danes' attack with the leg already damaged, and it was no longer possible to continue. Yvonne Mvogo replaces No. 1 in the 38th minute. Yann Sommer returned to the hotel during the match to cool his foot.

Overall, more focus is definitely visible. But this is not a fun discovery, because the Swiss simply parked the bus in front of their goal, while the outside runners were acting quite defensively. And up front, it's not as if Noah Okafor is particularly enthusiastic. At least Ndoye obviously still has a good shot, but the fact that this scene is even mentioned just proves that the game is very boring and very uneventful. Remo Freuler, for example, is barely visible, Denis Zakaria is not there either, and Ruben Vargas lacks determination. At least Granit Xhaka is trying.

Mvogo saves the free kick and Xhaka reaches Hjulmand

After the break, the Swiss still have everything under control. Even in the 61st minute, Mvogo needed strong work on a dangerous free kick from Eriksen. Is it a wake-up call for the 22 players on the field to provide more entertainment? Yakin made two double substitutions with Steven coming on for Widmer, and Ambadani for Okafor. And then Xhaka once again shows that he will not tolerate anything. Playing with Morten Hjulmand brings variety and both receive a yellow card. Before the final whistle, the captain was lucky not to be cautioned again for a foul.

Shaka and Helmand clash.  After a foul, the Dane kicked the ball that was in Xhaka's arms.

Shaka and Helmand clash. After a foul, the Dane kicked the ball that was in Xhaka's arms.

Toto Marti/Fresh Focus

But the match was still disappointing, even when Shaqiri was allowed to participate in the final quarter of an hour. It's a shame for those who paid for the ticket. Good for the Swiss, because 0-0 at the end is a respectable success. The three-man series is effective and will be an effective tool, especially against strong opponents if Switzerland are not the favourites. There is also this approach: although the national team has more possession of the ball, it lacks quick vertical play, speed on the counter-attack, and ideas as well. She can now make up for it all in the next friendly match against Ireland on Tuesday.

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Switzerland's matches in Group A

Saturday, June 15: Switzerland – Hungary at 3:00 pm in Cologne
Wednesday, June 19: Switzerland – Scotland at 9 pm in Cologne
Sunday, June 23: Switzerland – Germany at 9 pm in Frankfurt

Status: The top two in the group, as well as four of the third six in the group, qualify for the round of 16.

To read: The match in the live stream