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Switzerland eliminated from Euro 2008

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Switzerland have been beaten 2-1 by Turkey in a crucial group match at the St Jacob's Park stadium in Basel. The co-hosts are therefore out of Euro 2008.

This content was published on June 11, 2008 - 20:17

Swiss midfielder Hakan Yakin scored in the 32nd minute, Semih equalised for Turkey in the 57th minute and Turan scored the winning goal in the third minute of injury time.

Switzerland became only the second European Championship host to be eliminated before the last four. Euro 2000 co-host Belgium also failed to get through the group stage.

The result was enough to send Portugal through to the quarterfinals from Group A. The Portuguese beat the Czech Republic 3-1 in Geneva earlier in the evening. The Turks and Czechs will play for the final spot from the group on Sunday.

The game, which was played through a first-half downpour that left the pitch soaked, was heading for a draw when Turan's shot hit defender Patrick Müller and looped over goalkeeper Diego Benaglio.

"That hurts," said Swiss coach Köbi Kuhn after the match. "But there's nothing that I can fault. We gave everything. We would have had a small chance of qualifying with a draw, but we wanted to win. We can be proud of this performance."

Yakin scored during the heavy rain, reacting quickly after a cross from 19-year-old Eren Derdiyok got stuck in a large puddle in front of goal. Like Yakin, Derdiyok is a Swiss of Turkish origin.

Yakin should have made it 2-0 just three minutes later, when Valon Behrami's cross went straight through the Turkey defence. With an open goal, Yakin pushed his point-blank effort wide.

He had another chance in the 84th minute, but goalkeeper Volkan Demirel made a diving save, reacting fast enough to snuff out Ricardo Cabanas' effort on the rebound.

"Too naïve"

"The Swiss were too naïve and lacked tactical intelligence at the end of the match," former international player and coach Umberto Barberis told swissinfo. "When they missed the unmissable with four against one [in the 84th minute], they should have stopped going on the attack and instead settled for a draw to remain in the tournament."

Barberis, a consultant for swissinfo during Euro 2008, said once again the Swiss didn't know how to cope with the situation.

"This lack of efficiency was fatal for them, just as it was against the Czech Republic [who beat Switzerland 1-0 on Saturday]. It's a real shame."

The rain started after about ten minutes and the play turned increasingly sloppy as both teams sloshed around the pitch. Switzerland, however, managed to string together passes better than their opponents.

Swiss midfielder Gelson Fernandes moved the ball out left to Tranquillo Barnetta, who sent a shot from the corner of the box that brought out a stellar save by Demirel.

The goalkeeper made an even better save shortly afterwards in the 25th minute, diving with his left hand to push Barnetta's curling free kick just past the post.

Turkey had their best chance of the half in the 29th minute, after striker Tuncay Sanli won a free kick in on the right. Nihat Kahveci placed a free kick close to Benaglio, who punched the ball straight into the head of the onrushing Turan. The ricochet bounced off the right post and out for a goal kick.

Turkish coach Fatih Terim sought to boost his attack after the break by bringing Senturk and Mehmet Topal. But when the rain stopped, it seemed to help Turkey the most.

Second-half chances

Switzerland had only a couple of chances in the second half, with Behrami bursting past Hakan Balta in the 56th minute and nearly scoring from a tight angle. Gökhan Inler and Barnetta had shots well off target.

After Senturk's goal, Kuhn brought on Johan Vonlanthen for Barnetta, who still appeared short of his best after injuring his left ankle while training in May.

The match was the first between the two teams since an ugly brawl three years ago in Istanbul that brought a rash of suspensions, with Fifa president Sepp Blatter even threatening to ban Turkey from the 2010 World Cup. Blatter, a Swiss native, backed down.

Both teams downplayed the history in the run-up to the match and said they were focusing solely on football.

swissinfo

Teams

Switzerland: Benaglio, Senderos, Müller, Magnin, Lichtsteiner, Yakin (Gygax, 85), Inler, Fernandes (Cabanas, 76), Behrami, Barnetta (Vonlanthen, 66), Derdiyok.

Turkey: Demirel, Emre Asik, Cetin, Balta, Metin (Topal, 46), Karadeniz (Senturk, 46), Aurelio, Arda, Altintop, Tuncay Sanli, Nihat (Kazim, 85).

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