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Monday, June 16, 2008

Euro 2008: Switzerland Recorded First Euro Victory Defeating Portugal 2-0

Hakan Yakin’s two second-half goals brought a celebrating occasion for the Switzerland fans last night. Switzerland's 2-0 victory over Portugal was their first victory in Euro tournament. With this victory, Switzerland ended their Euro 2008 campaign keeping their head high. Coming into the match knowing that even a victory would not give them a place in the last eight, Switzerland played inspirational football against a seemingly second-eleven Portugal side. Portugal Coach Scolari rested some of his top guns including Cristiano Ronaldo, Deco etc. for the match. The absence of the Portuguese star players was felt throughout the match as Portugal seemed to be less organized a side and less effective in creating goal scoring chances. Switzerland, in contrast, looked more organized, though even they were not flawless.

In the first half, both sides created a number of chances, but of proper execution caused them a lot. Switzerland could have found goal in the first half, if Portugal keeper Ricardo would not make two magnificent saves in the first half. Portugal was also a bit unlucky as Nani’s free kick hit the goal bar. In the absence of the star players, Nani and Ricardo Quaresma very often showed the glimpses of quality throughout the match.

Switzerland got their first goal in the 71st minute, when Hakan Yakin fired the ball past Ricardo into the net. That was a confidence booster goal for Switzerland side. Then seven minutes off the match, Tranquillo Barnetta was illegally tackled by Fernando Meira in the box and referee called a penalty for Switzerland and Hakan Yakin scored from the spot kick to double the lead. In the end, Portugal threatened in the Switzerland half, but by the time, Swiss defense was organized enough to resist the Portugal attack.

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