Soccer-Last chance for Swiss or Turks to keep Euro campaign alive


Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - Group A - Italy v Switzerland - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy - June 16, 2021 Switzerland players look dejected after the match Pool via REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

BAKU (Reuters) - Switzerland and Turkey share the same mission in their last Group A game on Sunday: securing a first win of Euro 2020 to give them a chance of advancing to the knockout phase.

Switzerland, who had high expectations of their experienced team, have only one point after drawing with Wales and taking a 3-0 drubbing from Italy in their second game.

Turkey, who three months ago sent out a signal of potential by beating the Netherlands 4-2 in a World Cup qualifier, have lost to both Italy and Wales and are yet to score.

Switzerland could still finish second in the group but would need Wales to lose to Italy in Rome at the same time.

They would also need to have a better goal difference.

Turkey's best option to advance is as one of the four best third-placed teams, as they have already missed the top two.

For the Swiss, their slovenly start has been sobering.

Captain Granit Xhaka suggested before the tournament the side could go all the way to next month’s final, given their considerable experience and time spent together at previous major tournaments. They were eliminated in the round of 16 at the last two World Cups as well as Euro 2016 in France.

But they have looked lethargic and unconvincing and, after being swept aside by Italy, faced heavy home criticism.

To stand any chance, Switzerland need to put behind them the shock of Wednesday's loss in Rome and not suffer what Turkey coach Senol Gunes said befell his team when they were beaten by Wales earlier the same day.

"I don’t think we ever got over the shock of the first game," he said of their three-goal defeat to Italy in the tournament opener last Friday.

Turkey would also need to fix their many mistakes. "I don't remember us making so many errors in passing, ever," Gunes added. "I am observing a weight on the shoulders of the team."

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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