Soccer-Shot-shy Swiss roll out of World Cup in last 16


  • Football
  • Wednesday, 07 Dec 2022

Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Round of 16 - Portugal v Switzerland - Lusail Stadium, Lusail, Qatar - December 6, 2022 Portugal's Goncalo Ramos reacts REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

DOHA (Reuters) - A 6-1 hammering by Portugal brought an end to Switzerland's World Cup adventure, but their meagre attack was as much to blame as their leaky defence as they made their exit at the last 16 stage in Qatar on Tuesday.

Two down at the break against the Portuguese, they conceded two more early in the first half.

They showed little ability to put their opponents under pressure even though they pulled one back through Manuel Akanji and two further Portuguese goals sealed a sorry night for the Swiss.

Goncalo Ramos helped himself to a hat-trick and how the Swiss must long for an attacker like the 21-year-old Portuguese, who started instead of the ageing Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Swiss were impressive in qualifying for Qatar, edging out Italy to top their group after an unbeaten run of five wins and three draws while scoring a respectable 15 goals.

Their group stage performance was equally steady, but the major difference to their qualifying campaign was that any semblance of attacking verve deserted them on arrival in Qatar, just when they needed it most.

An opening 1-0 win over Cameroon was followed up by a loss to Brazil by the same scoreline, but over the two games they managed just three shots on target, with none of them coming against the Brazilians.

Other results left them sitting pretty in second place ahead of the final game against Serbia with their fate in their hands, but they had to come back from 2-1 down to win 3-2 and secure second spot in the group.

Against Portugal, they froze again.

Though they enjoyed plenty of possession, the Swiss attack threatened rarely, and every time they gave the ball away it seemed they left their rearguard exposed.

As the likes of France and Brazil have shown in Qatar, attack is currently the best form of defence, and in that regard Switzerland have a lot that can be improved upon.

(Editing by Toby Davis)

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