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Switzerland coast home against Liechtenstein

Captain Alex Frei celebrates his second goal of the night and his record

(Keystone)

The Swiss national football team have won their last test game before the Euro 2008 championships by a comfortable 3-0 against Liechtenstein.

It was a night to remember for captain Alex Frei, whose two goals made him the all-time record goal scorer for Switzerland with a tally of 35.

Frei, playing in his 59th game for the national team, opened the score in St Gallen's new stadium in the 24th minute with a header after a move from the right side. His goal equalled the record of 34 goals held by Kubilay Türkyilmaz.

Just seven minutes later, Frei broke that record following a move on the left side, which ended with a shot that went through the legs of Liechtenstein goalkeeper Peter Jehle.

Johan Vonlanthen scored the third goal for the Swiss on 68 minutes after a move involving Frei and second half substitute Hakan Yakin.

Switzerland began the match almost at full strength, with only injured Tranquillo Barnetta missing from the lineup.

It was Frei who put his signature on the match as early as the second minute when his shot hit the bar.

Strain

The strain of achieving and breaking the record of Türkyilmaz was a weight off the Borussia Dortmund players' mind.

"It was a pressure and I'm happy to go to the Euro tournament with that behind me. I'm going to celebrate with the whole team because I've known most of the players for a very long time," he said.

"I am proud to have written a page in the history of Swiss football... After my second goal it was a very emotional moment."

In a related development, the Czech Republic beat Scotland 3-1 in Prague in their tune-up game for the Euro 2008 tournament.

Switzerland play the Czech Republic in the opening match in Basel in eight days time.

Take advantage

National trainer Köbi Kuhn said that his side had managed on Friday to take advantage of some of the gaps in the Liechtenstein defence.

"Against the Czechs we won't have the same gifts. I realise that not everything was perfect this evening and we were sometimes too impatient.

"As for Alex Frei's record, I'll say just one thing. He deserved to beat it. He's coming out of a bad time with injuries but he's never stopped fighting."

Former Swiss international and trainer Umberto Barberis told swissinfo that the match was important for Switzerland to win... but also for the players not to get injured.

"Even if the ball should have been passed around faster to put Liechtenstein in more difficulties, there were some fine points on the Swiss side," he commented.

swissinfo with agencies

St Gallen stadium

The match between Switzerland and Liechtenstein marked the inauguration of the new stadium of St Gallen in eastern Switzerland, known as the AFG Arena.

It is the fifth largest stadium in Switzerland after Basel, Geneva, Bern and Zurich's Letzigrund.

The stadium, which has a seating capacity of 19,694 and cost SFr340 million ($326.2 million), will be the training ground for Romania during the Euro 2008 competition.

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Swiss squad for Euro 2008

Goalkeepers: Diego Benaglio (Wolfsburg), Eldin Jakupovic
(Grasshopper), Pascal Zuberbühler (Neuchatel Xamax).

Defenders: Valon Behrami (Lazio), Philipp Degen (Borussia Dortmund), Johan Djourou (Arsenal), Stéphane Grichting (Auxerre), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Lille), Ludovic Magnin (Stuttgart), Patrick Müller (Lyon), Philippe Senderos (Arsenal), Christoph Spycher (Eintracht Frankfurt), Steve von Bergen (Hertha Berlin).

Midfielders: Tranquillo Barnetta (Bayer Leverkusen), Ricardo Cabanas (Grasshopper), Gelson Fernandes (Manchester City), Daniel Gygax (FC Metz), Benjamin Huggel (Basel), Gökhan Inler (Udinese), Hakan Yakin (Young Boys), Johan Vonlanthen (Red Bull Salzburg).

Strikers: Eren Derdiyok (Basel), Alexander Frei (Borussia Dortmund), Marco Streller (Basel).

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