Swiss eye historic second Euro win to all but make knock-out stages

Switzerland are aware they need improvement in their second Euro 2016 game against Romania on Wednesday as they aim for victory and domestic football history.

Coming off a 1-0 defeat of Albania, Switzerland can win two games in a row for the first time in their fourth appearance at the Euros and would be all but assured of a first qualification for the knock-out stages as well.

But the Swiss were wasteful against Albania and needed several saves from goalkeeper Yann Sommer to preserve the lead.

"We must continue to create opportunities. If we do that, one or more goals will fall," coach Vladimir Petkovic told a news conference Tuesday at the game's venue, the Parc des Princes in Paris.

"We need a good performance, run more, communicate better - perhaps run faster, smarter. We want to do things correctly to write a good chapter in Swiss history."

But Petkovic warned his Swiss about their opponents even though they lost 2-1 against the hosts France, urging his players to remain fully focussed.

"I was impressed by the Romanians as a whole," the coach said. "We have to give 110 per cent. What we did against Albania is probably not enough against Romania.

Defender Johan Djourou said: "We are all ready and we want to win. The team won the first battle and the second one is tomorrow."

The Swiss will definitely be in the last 16 if they win and France beat Albania later Wednesday.

But they are also all but through if Albania spring a surprise on the French and the Swiss eventually finish third, because it is highly unlikely that many other third-placed teams, of which four advance from six groups, would finish with six points.

The Swiss famously trounced Romania 4-1 at the 1994 World Cup but Petkovic dismissed that result as a matter of the past.

Romania coach Anghel Iordanescu, also at the helm at that game 22 years ago in Detroit, said: "We were a bit stressed on the pitch and lost that game."

His team can not afford another defeat Wednesday, after a deserved but still unlucky late defeat against the hosts, if Romania want to advance from the group stage for only the second time.

"It is an extremely important game for us and Romanian football," Iordanescu said. "I hope the players are concentrated, motivated and ready to win."

Last update: Tue, 14/06/2016 - 21:46
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