Lacklustre Swiss suffer setback against US


Switzerland have lost 1-0 against the United States in a friendly match ahead of next year's European football championship.

This content was published on October 17, 2007 - 22:27

Wednesday's test in Basel was part of the preparations for the Swiss team who have qualified automatically for Euro 2008, which they are co-hosting with neighbouring Austria.

The disappointing Swiss were clearly not able to build on their performance at the weekend, when they defeated Austria 3-1.

The goal by Michael Bradley five minutes before the final whistle sealed the first victory of the US team against Switzerland. It also stopped the recent five-match losing streak by the Americans.

The US created more opportunities, particularly in the second half of the match in Basel, which will be the venue of the opening game of the European tournament.

Freddy Adu, who came on in the 76th minute, nearly scored a second goal for his US team. The young striker, who plays for Portuguese club Benfica Lisbon, was stopped by an apparent foul by the Swiss defence. But the referee waved play on.

The young team of coach Bob Bradley also had more obvious chances in the first 45 minutes. Swiss keeper Zuberbühler turned away shots by Lewis and Bocanegra.

Tired Swiss

The Swiss side never seemed determined enough to be able to unlock the well-organised Americans on the soggy pitch.

Von Bergen missed a cross inside the five-metre box, while free-kicks by Yakin and Barnetta went wide. Degen and Nkufo - who came on for Streller in the second half – failed to put the ball past the US keeper.

The Swiss team looked tired and had to play without three key players: Arsenal defender Senderos and strikers Frei and Vonlanthen.

Coach Köbi Kuhn said the match had shown some of the well-known weaknesses of his team.

"We were not able to control the game. We have to learn to be more patient. The US side were well organised and fresher than we were," he said.

More work

The Swiss have another five international friendly matches scheduled for the remaining eight months.

They will next face Nigeria for a test in November.

The winning goal scorer, Bradley, said he was very pleased with Wednesday's result.

He pointed out that it is difficult for a US side to play against a European team like Switzerland.


In other action in Europe's football stadiums, Greece, the Czech Republic and Romania have become the latest teams to qualify for Euro 2008.

The defending champions won against rivals Turkey 1-0, while the Czechs thrashed Germany in Munich 3-0. The Germans were already through after a goalless draw against Ireland at the weekend.

England's chances of qualifying for the tournament were dealt a serious blow after they gave away a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 against Russia in Moscow.

Scotland, who were top of their group before Wednesday, seem to have thrown away their chances of eliminating France or Italy. They went down 2-0 against Georgia and now need to win their last match against Italy in November.

swissinfo, Urs Geiser with agencies

Key facts

Result: Switzerland 0 – 1 US (0-0).
Goal: Bradley (85th)
Attendance at St Jakob's Park in Basel: 16,500

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In brief

Switzerland played a total of 15 friendly matches since the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

They won eight games, lost six and drew one.

The Swiss have a 3-3-1 record against the US. Last time the two teams faced each other was at the 1994 World Cup in Detroit. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.

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Euro 2008

Co-hosts Switzerland and Austria have qualified automatically for the Euro 2008 tournament, which takes place in June 2008.

The winners and runners-up in the seven qualifying groups will also go through.

The composition of the four groups of the Euro 2008 tournament is scheduled for December.

15 of the 31 Euro 2008 matches will be played in Switzerland, including the opening match in Basel on June 7.

Austria hosts 16 games and stages the final in Vienna on June 29.

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Switzerland: Zuberbühler; Lichsteiner, Djourou (von Bergen), Grichting, Magnin; Celestini (Fernandes), Inler; David Degen, Margairaz (Yakin), Barnetta (Spycher); Streller (Nkufo).

United States: Hahnemann (Guzan); Cherundolo, Onyewu (Califf), Bocanegra, Lewis (Szetela); Feilhaber, Edu, Bradley, Beasley, (Pearce); Twellman (Adu), Dempsey (Findley).

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