Switzerland crush Turkey but must wait on Euro 2020 hopes


A tremendous performance by Switzerland kept their Euro 2020 hopes alive with a 3-1 win over Turkey on Sunday.

But it was not enough to secure automatic qualification to the last 16.

Switzerland finished third in Group A, level on points with second-placed Wales but behind them on goal difference.

Wales survived with 10-men in Rome to lose only 1-0 to group winners Italy.

The Swiss must wait to see if they are one of the four best third-placed sides who progress.

But with four points and a goal difference of minus-one they have a decent chance.

Haris Seferovic opened the scoring in Baku for Switzerland and two goals from Liverpool winger Xherdan Shaqiri sealed an emphatic win.

Turkey struck through Irfan Kahveci to briefly cut the deficit to 2-1 but exit bottom of the group and without a point from a bitterly disappointing campaign.

“We had a strong game today (Sunday),” Seferovic said. “We can at worst feel bad for not having scored even more goals.

“Another one or two goals more and not conceding. If that had worked, then it would have been the perfect performance.”

The Turkish side started brightly but Seferovic drilled into the bottom corner against the run of play in six minutes and Switzerland never looked back.

Shaqiri —- on his weaker right foot —- curled into the top corner from the edge of the box.

Only a string of saves from Turkey goalkeeper Ugurcan Cakir kept his side in the game.

Full-back Mert Muldur was Turkey’s biggest threat.

But, as Switzerland did in the first half, Kahveci struck out of the blue from 20 metres in the 61st minute to leave the Swiss hopes of automatic qualification in tatters.

Shaqiri immediately converted a slick break to at least guarantee the win and Granit Xhaka hit the post.

But the Swiss had too much to do, having drawn 1-1 with Wales and lost 3-0 to Italy.

“Maybe we could have scored one or two more goals, but it was a crucial performance from us and we’re happy with the result,” Shaqiri said.

That defeat in Rome proved decisive.

Wales —- who beat Turkey 2-0 —- had the benefit of playing a rotated Italian side and did enough, just, to reach the knock-outs and leave Switzerland sweating.

Turkey coach Senol Gunes, who is under pressure due to the bad results, said he has no intention to leave his position.

“I am not thinking of resigning at the moment,” he said.

Turkey have failed to clinch a point in three games at the Euro 2020, scoring just one goal.

Gunes admitted that as coach he was responsible for the team’s performance.