Euro 2016

Swiss coach Petkovic relaxed about lack of goals

Admir Mehmedi's equaliser against Romania put the Swiss on the brink of reaching the European Championship's knockout stages for the first time.
Admir Mehmedi's equaliser against Romania put the Swiss on the brink of reaching the European Championship's knockout stages for the first time.

PARIS • A wasteful Switzerland battled back from a goal down to be on the verge of reaching the knockout phase of a European Championship for the first time with a 1-1 draw against Romania.

Switzerland dominated possession and had more chances on Wednesday, yet fell behind in the Group A clash when Bogdan Stancu converted a first-half penalty, before Admir Mehmedi levelled after the break with a powerful half-volley into the far side of the net.

The result at the Parc des Princes put the Swiss on four points from two games, which should be enough to see them through to the next round, at least as one of the four best third-placed teams.

"We created lots of chances but only managed to score one, unfortunately," said Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic.

"I'm not concerned about the lack of goals. You have to get into those positions first. We'll now start looking forward to the France game and make sure we're as prepared as we can be for that."

Romania coach Anghel Iordanescu, who made four changes to the team who lost 1-2 to France in their opener, said his team were suffering physically towards the end.

"It's very difficult to play in those games after two or three days' rest," he said. "That's why we wanted to put some new players in our starting XI and physically, we were down in the second half."

Winger Mehmedi shone for the Swiss but the much-fancied Xherdan Shaqiri and Breel Embolo, who came on as a second-half substitute, failed to have the expected impact.

However, Romania's prospects appear grimmer after central midfielder Mihai Pintilii and talismanic left-back Razvan Rat hobbled off with injuries.

Iordanescu, in his third stint in charge of the national team, said Rat's second-half replacement Steliano Filip was also hurt, while scorer Stancu was suffering from muscle pain.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 17, 2016, with the headline 'Swiss coach Petkovic relaxed about lack of goals'. Print Edition | Subscribe