Swiss held 1-1 by Romania - fail to qualify early for last 16

Switzerland rallied to a 1-1 draw with Romania at Euro 2016 on Wednesday but the point wasn't good enough to see them qualify prematurely for the knock-out rounds for the first time.

Bogdan Stancu opened the scoring for Romania with an 18th-minute penalty, but Admir Mehmedi levelled for the Swiss with a ferocious volley in the 57th minute of a not classy but entertaining affair at the Parc des Princes.

The Swiss, who wasted several chances just as in their opening 1-0 over Albania, pressed in vain for the winner in front of 43,576 fans which would have sent them into the last 16.

But they top Group A with four points from hosts France (three) who play Albania (zero) later Wednesday in Marseille and will advance as the first team with a win. Romania have one point and are not out yet.

"I am satisfied with our performance. We played well and created chances, I have to complement my team," Swiss coach Vladimir Petkovic said.

But he added that "we have to be more clinic and take our chances," a view shared by man-of-the-match midfielder Granit Xhaka.

"We had so many chances but didn't score. It was one of our better games but I am not happy with the result." the new Arsenal hiring Xhaka said.

Romanian coach Anghel Iordanescu said: "We controlled the game in the first half, scored and had some more chances and have won the game. But we suffered a lot in the second half and faced huge pressure from Switzerland."

Iordansecu brought on Alexandru Chipciu, Gabriel Torje, Claudiu Keseru and Andrei Prepelita in four changes to the first 11 from the tournament opener they lost late 2-1 against France.

Petkovic fielded the same 11 that had started in the 1-0 over Albania.

The similarities for the Swiss continued in the seventh minute when Haris Seferovic aimed wide right from a promising position and failed to beat goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusano in the 16th - after already missing four big chances against Albania.

Instead of being one or two goals up the Swiss fell behind in the 18th.

Juventus' Stephan Lichtsteiner clumsily pulled the shirt of the lively Chipciu right under the eyes of Russian referee Sergei Karasev. Stancu cooly converted the penalty into the bottom left corner for his second goal of the tournament, after having scored from the spot as well against France.

The Swiss responded immediately with Tatarusanu tipping Fabian Schaer's dipping 25m effort over the bar, and Blerim Dzemaili headed wide a little later.

But Romania also remained dangerous as Chipciu curled wide and Cristian Sapunaru hit the outside right post.

The second half continued in this fashion, with Swiss defender Joahn Djourou first just clearing in front of Keseru.

The Swiss were finally awarded for their efforts in the 57th when Bayer Leverkusen's Mehmedi smashed his volley into the far right corner after Romania had failed to clear a corner.

Teenager Breel Embolo replaced the unlucky Seferovic as the Swiss went in search of the winner against tiring Romanians but Xherdan Shaqiri's bicycle kick and Dzemaili's shot went wide.

The Swiss face a tricky test against France in their final game on Sunday while Romania at the same time play Albania.

Last update: Wed, 15/06/2016 - 21:49
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