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Door to football's World Cup wide open

The Sunday newspapers celebrated the Swiss victory

(swissinfo.ch)

The Sunday press was full of praise for Switzerland's victory over Turkey in the first leg of the qualifying playoffs for football's World Cup next year.

Saturday's 2-0 win in Bern put the Swiss side in a commanding position heading into the final and decisive match in Istanbul on Wednesday.

Switzerland dominated play through most of the 90 minutes, and the goal tally could easily have been higher.

Arsenal defender Philippe Senderos put the Swiss ahead in the 41st minute, heading home a ball from a Ludovic Magnin free kick.

Valon Behrami doubled the score making good on an Alex Frei pass in the 86th minute, only three minutes after coming off the bench.

The tabloid SonntagsBlick newspaper said the Swiss had earned a World Cup place based on their convincing performance. "Germany – we are on our way! Dear neighbour, you deserve us, because we are an enrichment for your World Cup next year – in contrast to the Turks."

"The Swiss football team have played themselves into the hearts of a broad sporting public," said the NZZ am Sonntag.

Wave of enthusiasm

It said "a wave of enthusiasm for the team is expected to grow over the next few days because the Swiss were finally able to defeat a highly rated international squad when the chips were down".

"They have taken a giant step towards next year's World Cup in Germany," continued the NZZ. But the paper cautioned that the Swiss could not afford to be too confident going into the final and deciding match.

The SonntagsZeitung called the victory "a giant step towards the World Cup".

"The 2-0 win was well deserved, because it was the result of a Swiss team who sacrificed everything, especially during an excellent first half."

No fatal errors

"It was a team that worked together for the win and it was a team which made few errors, and no fatal ones," added the SonntagsZeitung.

"The Swiss only need to punch their ticket" to Germany, was the headline in Le Matin Dimanche.

"Switzerland played a near-perfect match as far as the quality of their performance and determination was concerned," the French-language newspaper said.

"It was an excellent first half for the Swiss, punctuated by a goal scored at just the right moment, only minutes before the break.

"They condemned their guests to the role of spectators," Le Matin Dimanche concluded.

swissinfo

Key facts

Switzerland defeated Turkey 2-0 in the first leg of the qualifying playoff for the World Cup in Germany next year.

Philippe Senderos scored in the 41st minute, and Valon Behrami got the second goal four minutes before the final whistle.

The match was played at the Stade de Suisse in Bern in front of a capacity crowd of 31,130.

The second and final leg will be played on Wednesday in Istanbul.

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