How fallacious are you able to be? Senol Gunes’s younger aspect departed Baku for a presumably awkward inquest in Istanbul having suffered three defeats and conceded eight objectives, scoring only one in reply.
All issues are relative however this was Turkey’s greatest efficiency of three. Finally although they might not management Xherdan Shaqiri and appeared bamboozled by Vladmir Petkovic’s good, mid-gamedecision to modify from a again three to a again 4.
Having completed the group behind Wales on objective distinction, Switzerland should now hope to progress as top-of-the-line third-placed finishers.
They actually began properly in Azerbaijan. With six minutes gone Haris Seferovic acquired the ball from Steven Zuber and was permitted ample time to swivel earlier than squeezing a low, incisive shot simply inside a publish.
The ball’s journey to the again of the online took it via the legs of Merih Demiral and the Turkey defender will certainly wince at replays highlighting the sluggishness of his reactions to the hazard posed by Seferovic’s positioning.
An enormous a part of the issues encountered by Gunes’s group had been rooted in midfield the place Kaan Ayhan often discovered himself overrun and his teammates struggled to deal with the superb Breel Embolo.
His mix of snake-hipped motion and clever hold-up play subdued the 20,000 odd Turkey followers gathered in Baku with their distress compounded when Ayhan was as soon as once more discovered wanting and Shaqiri put Petkovic’s aspect two up.
The Liverpool winger appeared to unnerve Turkey each time he took possession and Ayhan and pals appeared petrified as Seferovic’s shot was blocked and Zuber despatched the ball out the scorer’s method.
After taking a high-calibre steadying contact, Shaqiri, stationed simply exterior the realm, used his supposedly weaker proper foot to ship a subtly curving shot arcing into the highest nook. It was a end that not solely belonged on the very highest stage however emphasised the gargantuan process going through Turkey. Their Group A objective distinction now registered a distinctly unhealthy minus seven.
It has been an terrible event for the supposed Euro 2020 darkish horses however, for as soon as, they began moderately strongly, creating fairly a number of first-half possibilities, albeit primarily from lengthy vary.
Sadly for Gunes, Yann Sommer, Switzerland’s goalkeeper, proved equal to the whole lot thrown at him, saving fantastically from Burak Yilmaz and Mert Muldur. In the meantime, on the different finish, solely a stellar save with an outstretched foot from Ugurcan Cakir got here between Shaqiri and one other spectacular objective.
It made for extremely entertaining viewing however, not for the primary time, Turkey’s defensive vulnerabilities had been cruelly uncovered and the slumped, resigned, physique language of Gunes’s gamers as they trudged out for the second half indicated they believed the sport was up.
This impression was solely strengthened as their supervisor and his workers traded despairing hand gestures. Gunes’s centre-halves, particularly, had been struggling to second-guess Switzerland’s attacking manoeuvres and relied on Cakir to bale them out as soon as extra, courtesy of a wonderful save from Embolo.
Petkovic’s resolution to permit Shaqiri a free position during which the so-called “Alpine Messi” drifted between the traces, exploiting hitherto hidden pockets of house was paying wealthy dividends. The Liverpool man might not be into monitoring again and infrequently appears to be like as if he’s the type of participant who dozes off when managers provide defensive tutorials however, within the attacking sense, he’s removed from workshy.
As he ceaselessly prodded and probed for weaknesses within the Turkish backline, utilizing these fast, intelligent ft to usually dazzling impact, Shaqiri made the distinction.
Fenerbahce’s Irfan Kahveci had hoped to meet an analogous position for Turkey and the participant representing arguably Gunes’s greatest probability of a minor miracle briefly dragged his aspect again into issues. As soon as once more the objective got here from exterior the realm, with Kahveci beating Sommer because of a dipping left-foot shot unleashed after his thorough wrong-footing of Ricardo Rodriguez.
Lastly Turkey sensed hope however, with Shaqiri round, pushing for an equaliser proved perilous and, positive sufficient, they got here undone on the counterattack.
Hats off to Zuber for his third help of the sport after enjoying a cute one-two with Granit Xhaka earlier than crossing for Shaqiri to shoot unerringly, first time and left-footed, from simply inside the realm.
Granit Xhaka subsequently hit the publish from a free-kick however, with a objective distinction of minus one, Switzerland had in all probability carried out simply sufficient.