- Switzerland beat Bulgaria 4-0 in the second half in Lucerne.
- With Italy only playing 0-0 in Northern Ireland, NATI will buy tickets directly to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
- In the 100th international, Captain Shakiri leads his team to a historic victory, with Okafor, Vargas, Eaton and Froler scoring all goals after the break.
When the national team played 48 minutes in Lausanne – finally! – Reward for their offensive efforts and their delight of approximately 14,000 spectators. Xherdan Shaqiri dribbled the Bulgarian dizziness to the left in his 100th appearance in Swiss attire and served Noah Okafor with his cross. The Salzburg striker went high in the midfield and headed 1-0.
The gate served as a proverb that opens the can. If Shakiri hits the post from a short distance, Ruben Vargas (57) will soon make it better: Fabian Frey, who has been promoted to central defender, started the attack with a long ball, and Mario Gavranovic continued the review. Vargas served well.
Change of scene to Northern Ireland
The gate to the World Cup in Qatar was open, but there was a weak way: 1300 km north-west, enough to buy a virtual direct ticket to the Italian desert near Northern Ireland. But the “Squadra Azura” dominated the game until this time, but it was very difficult against the Northern Irish, who defended their solidarity. Goalkeeper Bailey Peacock always had the upper hand when it came to cracking the defensive bar.
However, Lucerne did not want to rely on the Northern Irish to successfully defend their fort until the bitter end. Sometimes against the relegated Bulgarians, the national team put pressure. But the video referee played Spoilsport twice:
- 63. Minutes: Shakir Cross finds Gavranovic dipping the ball into the half volley. But the exhilarating joy abruptly ceased: VAR found an offside position.
- 69. Minutes: The Joker Cedric Eaton – of course – launched Shakiri. But the first mercenary to use the net with confidence is offside during the pass – the referee reveals it after consulting the VAR.
But no one was able to stop this Swiss national team that evening. Not from the ultra defensive Bulgarians or the team of referees. It only took Eaton 3 minutes to score again. Substitute Renato Stephen’s header after a pass passed all Tests this time – 3-0. Then all the dams collapsed: Remo Frooler scored early in the 8 (!) Minutes after Shakiri passed 4-0.
Return to Belfast: Italy in despair
What did the European champion do? Italy could not find a solution in Belfast. Stuart Dallas lost 1-0 at the end of a counterattack (81). Substitute Connor Washington (90) almost fooled the Italians. But goals were leveled on both sides until the final whistle blew. To the delight of the Swiss, to the annoyance of the Italians, to the honor of the Northern Irish. Roberto Mancini’s team now needs to qualify for the World Cup through the playoffs. Want to miss another World Cup like the one in Russia in 2018? Not exactly compatible with Italian pride. The draw for the playoffs will take place on November 26, and the mini tournament will take place in March.
Switzerland’s need was clear: they needed to score in the last World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria. As fast as possible, as fast as possible. Switzerland acted accordingly. Excited to move on, Murat Yak’s team tried from the start to surprise the destructive-defensive guests in Lucerne. After all, Vargas reached 3 finishes in the first 17 minutes, each without accuracy or strength.
Deals continued every minute. Only the name of the best chances: Gavranovich’s degree – allowed him to play as a center forward – victim from Bulgarian goalkeeper Ivan Karadsov (23rd) from half right. After a good dribble, Denise Zacharia did not adjust the visor properly (40th). The biggest opportunity was for Ocaphor. His amazing flick just before the half-time whistle smashed the post to the right. 65% possession and 12 (!) Corners went to the national team break. But stop aiming.
November 15 – A date in Swiss football history
But after the break it changed through Okafor’s header. The rest is a very positive story of a special date for Switzerland: 12 years after winning the U17 World Championship, the national team is qualifying for the 5th time in a row for a major tournament.
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