Romania 1-1 Switzerland
Romania were close to pulling off an upset today when Bogdan Stancu gave them the lead from the spot but Admir Mehmedi scored a sublime volley to ear Switzerland an important point in the Parc des Prince today.
The opening exchanges didn’t see either side take the upper hand. Switzerland created early chances but for the second game in a row striker Haris Seferovic was misfiring in front of goal. It would be a disservice not to mention the performance of Romanian keeper Ciprian Tatarusanu who was alert to the Swiss efforts throughout the half. With 18 minutes played Chipciu wriggled his way into the Swiss box. Right-back and captain Stephan Lichtsteiner had a firm hold of the Romanian’s jersey which referee Sergei Karasev spotted giving him no choice put to point to the spot. Striker Bogdan Stancu is the nations penalty taker and is well able to dispatch a spot kick as he showed in the opener against France. He tucked home putting Romania ahead and moving him to the top of the goal scoring list. Switzerland once again began to push and the Romanian’s did everything in their power to prevent a shot from challenging Tatarusanu but if one did sneak through the big man dealt with it with ease. The Romanian’s took a one goal lead into the break.
The second half was similar to the first Switzerland creating more chances but ultimately failing to convert. With 57 minutes played Ricardo Rodriguez swung in a corner as bodies from both sides rose to head it the ball took a single bounce. Admir Mehmedi raced towards it waited for it to sit up before smashing it into the top left corner of the Romanian net. A stunning goal that deservedly brought the Swiss back into the game.
With so much time left on the clock surely the Swiss would push on to win this one? No somehow they couldn’t find a winner. Youngster Breel Embolo replaced Seferovic and the teenager had one fantastic chance to head his side in front but his connection wasn’t good enough to direct it in. Late chances came for both sides but they were never troubling either keeper.
Overall Switzerland were the better side but Romania once again displayed their versatility. The Swiss move top of Group A for the moment on 4 points ahead of France who play Albania tonight. Romania sit in third with one point and will now target a win over Albania in the hopes they will qualify as one of the best third placed teams.
Man of the match – Granit Xhaka (Switzerland)
- Ovidiu Hoban replaces Mihai Pintilii 46 mins
- Steliano Filip replaces Razvan Rat 62 mins
- Florin Andone replaces Bogdan Stancu 84 mins
- BreelEmbolo replaces HarisSeferovic 64 mins
- Michael Lang replaces Blerim Dzemaili 83 mins
- Shani Tarashaj replaces Xherdan Shaqiri 90+ mins
Romania – Andrei Prepelita, Alexandru Chipciu, Claudiu Keseru, Dragos Grigore.
Switzerland – Granit Xhaka, Breel Embolo.