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"Unbelievable" win for young Swiss footballers

The Swiss under-17 football team have made it to the semifinals in their first World Cup tournament after a 2-1 win over Italy.

"This is unbelievable!" shrieked the Blick newspaper on Monday, adding: "what our multicultural troop displayed on the AstroTurf must even fill the most conservative of [rightwing] Swiss People's Party voters with pride".

Battling 30-degree heat in Nigeria, the young Swiss played aggressively and with confidence, taking every opportunity to go on the attack.

Nassim Ben Khalifa scored after 24 minutes. Italy equalised soon after.

But the Swiss did not let up and Oliver Buff took the team to a 2-1 lead in the second half. The Italians had a chance to catch up after Swiss defender Frederic Veseli got a red card that led to a penalty kick. Goalie Benjamin Siegrist deflected the shot, saving the lead.

The Swiss now face Columbia on Thursday for a chance to reach the finals.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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