Entering the European Cup quarter-finals for the national team was a historic event. Look back on the best Swiss games.
With France upended in the last 16 of the European Championship in Bucharest on Monday, the national team wrote the history of Swiss sport. The success in penalty shootouts against the defending champions and tournament contenders was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, victory for the Swiss national team in the 126-year history of the Swiss Football Association. And who knows, maybe the next match will come on Friday against Spain?
A look back at the Swiss’s own victories:
- Switzerland 2-1 Sweden on June 6, 1924 in Paris
Thanks to the Olympic semi-final victory over the tournament’s favorite Sweden, Switzerland has reached the final of a major tournament for the only time so far. In this the player had no chance against Uruguay (0:3), but he received the unofficial title of European champion.
In the quarter-finals, Switzerland had already defeated Italy 2-1, after which the newspaper called sport I started a fundraiser to pay for the extra nights.
- Switzerland 4-2 Germany on June 9, 1938 in Paris
The victory in the round of 16 in Paris over Greater Germany, and the merger of Germany and Austria, who reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in 1934, were a sensation.
With the two teams split 1:1 in the first game after extra time, the Swiss, coached by Austrian Karl Rabanne, won 4:2 in replay five days later after already falling 0:2 behind. Three days later, Switzerland lost 2-0 to Hungary in Quarter-finals.
- Italy-Switzerland 1: 4 on June 24, 1954 in Basel
On home soil, Switzerland qualified for the World Cup quarter-finals for the second time since 1938. After Karl Rabanne’s team defeated Italy 2-1 in the preliminary round and the group winners lost to England, the match against the Azzurri took place at St. Jacob’s Stadium in Basel.
The world champion in 1934 and 1938 gnawed his teeth for the second time on the famous Swiss bolt. Switzerland qualified for the quarter-finals, losing in an unforgettable match at Stade Lausanne-Pontes in the heat to Austria after an early lead 3-0 5:7.
- Switzerland 1-0 Italy on May 1, 1993 in Bern
With his 55th-minute goal against three-time world champions Italy, defender Marc Hoteger opened the door for Switzerland to qualify for a World Cup qualifier for the first time in 28 years. With a seventh win in the 50th duel with the “Squadra Azzurra”, Roy Hodgson’s team took the lead in their qualifying group, ahead of Italy and Portugal.
- Switzerland 4-1 Romania on June 22, 1994 in Detroit
After the 1-1 draw at the start of the World Cup against its host, the United States of America, a great moment in Swiss football came in the second group match. Roy Hodgson’s team put in a great performance against the highly talented Romanian team, which was led by Gheorghe Hagi and was one of the main attractions of the finals.
In the Swiss’s first World Cup victory in 40 years, Alan Sauter, Stephane Chapuisat and Adrien Knopp twice scored goals for the Swiss who completely unleashed. In the last 16 round, the end followed, against Spain, Switzerland had no chance and lost 3-0.
- Spain 0-1 Switzerland on June 16, 2010 in Durban
Against the reigning European champions and number two in the FIFA world rankings, who had only suffered one defeat in 48 matches before, Switzerland created the first sensation of their first World Cup on African soil. SFV’s selection goal at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban was shot by Gelson Fernandez in the 52nd minute.
With a strong squad, outstanding defensive performance and luck, Ottmar Hitzfeld’s team has saved the lead over time. Despite the victory, the Swiss team missed the playoffs, while Spain won the world champion for the first time.
- France – Switzerland 3: 3 nV, 4: 5 nP on June 28, 2021 in Bucharest
It was tough to beat the first quarter-final in the last round since 1954 against world champion France. The outside player had a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 in the 55th minute from the penalty spot, before falling 1:3 after 20 minutes – and saving himself in the 90th minute with 3:3 after all.
The Swiss bowlers kept quiet in the penalty shootout, and goalkeeper Jan Sommer eliminated another bias with his showdown against the last French bowler Kylian Mbappe: that the Swiss can’t win on penalties.
Which part are you missing from this list? And what was the highlight of Natty’s personality? Tell us what you think in the comments field below!