Shaqiri Keeps Switzerland Hopes of Securing Euro 2020 Knock-Outs Alive

Switzerland demolished Turkey 3-1 in their final group stage fixture at Euro 2020 to boost their hopes of reaching the knock-outs. Liverpool forward Xherdan Shaqiri inspired his team to a landslide victory, but the Swiss will need other results to go their way to qualify for the round of 16.

Well aware that anything but triumph would see them exit the European Championship, Vladimir Petkovic’s men started to pile the pressure on rock-bottom Turkey from the start. Benfica striker Haris Seferovic broke the deadlock six minutes into the game, firing the ball into the bottom left corner from outside the box.

It took the Swiss 20 minutes to double their advantage after Yann Sommer pulled off a few superb saves to deny the Turks. Shaqiri found a pocket of space between a few Turkey players and managed to whip the ball into the top corner with a delightful right-footed attempt.

Despite having a two-goal advantage at half-time, Switzerland knew they need to add a couple of more goals to overtake second-placed Wales. However, Turkey troubled the scoreboard first in the second half through Irfan Kahveci. The Fenerbahce midfielder scored a stunner from a long-range distance in the 62nd minute to pull one back for the Crescent-Stars.

Switzerland restored a two-goal cushion only six minutes later. A blistering counter-attack from Petkovic’s side saw Steven Zuber fire Shaqiri one-on-one with the keeper, with the Liverpool winger hammering the ball into the net.

The action at the Baku Olympic Stadium was back and forth for the remainder of the match, but neither side managed to change the scoreline. In the end, Switzerland finished third in Group A, five points behind top-placed Italy and level with Wales, who had a better goal difference.

Turkey wave goodbye to Euro 2020 without a single point, while Switzerland have to hope they will finish as one of four best third-placed sides to reach the knock-out phase.