France and Switzerland Share The Spoils

Switzerland and France drew blank which took the Swiss into the last 16 and saw the French win Group A.

Paul Pogba who was restored to the side had the better of the chances in the first half. Switzerland Goalkeeper Yann Sommer had to be alert for Pogba’s first shot making a fine save and Pogba then unleashed another shot shortly after that hit the crossbar from range.

 Granit Xhaka of Switzerland in action
Granit Xhaka of Switzerland in action

Dimitri Payet was introduced in the second half and after some very good work from Moussa Sissoko, he whipped in a cross and from first time Payet hit a sweet volley that cannon off the crossbar.

France who had already qualified before the game will now play one of the third place sides from Group C, D or E, while Switzerland will play the runner-up of Group C which contains World champions Germany, Poland and Northern Ireland.

Matuidi(l) and Shaqiti(R) in action
Matuidi(l) and Shaqiti(R) in action

Didier Deschamps made 5 changes that included Pogba, Cabaye, Gignac, Sissoko and Griezmann.

France had very good opportunities in the first half but Switzerland had chances of their own especially when Pogba miscued clearance from a corner fell goal wards, but the ball hit Swiss defender Johan Djourou three yards out before France cleared their lines.

Embolo holding off a French player
Embolo holding off a French player

Pogba came more into the game and he hit a 25 yard effort which the keeper parried onto the top of the bar after an unconvincing save. Moments later the Swiss keeper had to be alert again tipping away Pogba’s delicious left-footed drive from an angle.

Pogba again hit a devastating shot but again the Juventus midfielder effort clipped the top of the crossbar.

In the second half the Swiss looked the team in control in terms of possession, but they created nothing with it as France had more of the clear-cut openings.

Kingsley Coman in action
Kingsley Coman in action

Much wasn’t happening so Didier Deschamp introduced West Ham’s talisman Dimitri Payet and it didn’t take long from him to make an impression when he met a Sissoko cross. The midfielder hit the shot first time on the volley but the ball smashed off the crossbar and away.

Late into stoppage time Switzerland had a good appeal for a penalty as Blerim Dzemaili was brought down by Bacary Sagna but the referee waved play on.

Pogba tackled to the ground
Pogba tackled to the ground

In the over match Albania made history as they beat Romania 1-0 thanks to Sadiku 43rd minute header which saw Albania finish 3rd in Group A and now they will have to wait and see if they qualify for the last 16 as one of the best third place team.

Bockarie Koroma

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