Euro 2016 round up: Romania 1 Switzerland 1 - and what the result means

Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer and defender Fabian Schaer acknowledge the fans after the 1-1 draw.
Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer and defender Fabian Schaer acknowledge the fans after the 1-1 draw.PHOTO: AFP

Five days after Romania could not hang on to a draw against France, they could not hang on to a victory over Switzerland.

The best defence in qualifying is finding it difficult to shutout opponents on the big stage.

In truth, Romania manager Anghel Iordanescu unleashed a more attacking line-up at the Parc des Princes in Paris, bringing in speedy wingers Alexandru Chipciu and Gabriel Torje.

Despite having less of the ball, their plan to counter-attack via the left flank was effective.

Romania led through Bogdan Stancu against the run of play in the first half. The forward's second successful spot-kick in as many games was enough to take him to the top of the Euro 2016 scoring charts. But it was not sufficient for three points.

Switzerland - superior in possession, shots, and shots on target - found parity in the 57th minute. Winger Admir Mehmedi punished Romania's inability to clear their lines from a corner, his left-foot volley finding the top corner.

Romania have now won just one of their last 15 Euro games. If they do not get another against Albania on Sunday, they will suffer the ignominy of being the first team sent home.

Match highlights

- An error in defence by Dragos Grigore in the seventh minute allowed Haris Seferovic to work an opening. His shot on the turn from about 10 yards out went wide.

- Seferovic got an even better chance nine minutes later after Xherdan Shaqiri put him through. His low shot was on target and Ciprian Tatarusanu saved.

- Against the run of play, Romania got a penalty in the 19th minute. Switzerland captain Stephan Lichtsteiner was penalised for tugging at Chipciu's shirt. Stancu slipped as he took the spot-kick but his low shot into the bottom left corner sent the goalkeeper the wrong way.

-Swiss defender Fabian Schar headed straight down the other end and his dipping strike from long range forced Tatarusanu into another fine save.  

 

- In the 26th minute, Chipciu surged forward on the left flank, cut inside, but his curler is off target.

- Romania had a chance to double their lead again two minutes later. Cristian Sapunaru did well to control a ball over top. But he somehow found the woodwork from six yards out.

- Chipciu skipped past Schar on the left flank in the 36th minute but his dangerous cross is cleared by Johan Djourou.

- Lichtsteiner's deep cross in the 39th minute was met by Blerim Dzemaili but he somehow headed wide from five yards out.

- Switzerland prepared to get striker Breel Embolo on in the 57th in place of Mehmedi. But they held the change when they earned a corner. Romania failed to clear their lines and Mehmedi found the top corner with a vicious left boot.

- In the 68th minute, Embolo headed wide following a cross from Lichtsteiner.

- Gabriel Torje's swerving free-kick from 40 yards out was punched away by Yann Sommer in the 71st minute.

The talking point

Do strikers not have the most glamorous job in football? Where are they? This game seems symptomatic of the continental showpiece at large. The lack of finishing from the strikers has been shocking so far. Striker Seferovic, for the second straight game, had enough chances to score but was wasteful in front of goal. Romania created next to nothing for their hitman Claudio Keseru. Pacey Embolo was direct and caused problems for the Romanian backline. But when it came to applying the finishing touch, he too was left wanting.

Man of the Match

Granit Xhaka. A solid if unspectacular display by the new Arsenal signing as he dictated the tempo. He had the most touches of all players in the first half. Overall, he created three chances, completed 86 per cent of his passes (68), and won four aerial duels.

What the result means

 Every team will go into the final round of Group A fixtures with the chance of progressing to the knockout stages no matter what happens between France-Albania later.

France will be through the the last 16 with a win, but no one is out of it just yet. Switzerland can still finish as high as the group winners if they can stun Les Bleus.

The prize for finishing first is a third-placed team from either Group C, D, or E. The runners-up, on the other hand, will take on the second-placed team in Group C. That, as things stand, represents Robert Lewandowski and Poland - the top scoring individual and team in qualifying.

Romania can still snag second spot with a win against Albania, provided they have a better goal difference over Switzerland. One of the four third-placed teams will also progress.

Key statistic

Mehmedi is the first Swiss player to score in both the Euros and World Cup finals.

What they said

Xhaka: "We should have been 2-0 or 3-0 in front at half-time. We created so many chances to score. The France game will be an incredible experience for us."