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Swiss football team draw in Tunisia

Stiel is left stranded as Bouaziz sends the ball goalwards Keystone

Switzerland had to settle for a 1-1 draw in their friendly match against Tunisia on Wednesday.

Enzo Trossero’s side led for more than half the game, following a 20th minute headed goal from Basel midfielder Mario Cantaluppi. But midway through the second half the home side drew level, following a mistake from Swiss goalkeeper Jörg Stiel.

Sixty-eight minutes into his first international appearance the St Gallen keeper rushed out of his area but was unable to control the ball under pressure from Tunisian striker Jaziri. Rachid Bouaziz pounced on the loose ball, shooting into an empty net from some 35 metres out.

As expected Trossero used the match to experiment with his side, making a total of five substitutions. Lugano’s teenage midfielder Dario Rota made his international debut, coming on in the last half hour with club team-mate Régis Rothenbuhler.

With 22 minutes remaining the Swiss coach changed his forward line-up bringing on Servette’s Alexandre Rey and Basel’s André Muff for David Sesa and Hakan Yakin. But the change in personnel did not succeed in changing a score line which leaves Trossero still waiting for his first away win.

After the match the Swiss coach said that the low turn-out in the El Menzah stadium may have affected the two sides.

“The absence of a big crowd was in the end a negative factor,” Trossero insisted. “We should have won the match, but Stiel’s mistake was a shame. I’m sure he’ll be more sad about it than me!”

Result aside, Trossero said he was happy with what he had seen. “The main thing is that I have rediscovered my team. There was always an excellent spirit. We needed to make this trip before meeting up again at the end of February.”

Switzerland’s next competitive fixture is the World Cup qualifier away to Yugoslavia in March, a game which is unlikely to suffer from any lack of spectators.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR