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International Friendly: Swiss Roll Over the USA

Switzerland 2-1 USA

Switzerland came back from a goal behind to beat USA tonight, in an entertaining clash in St Gallen, as both teams warmed up for a summer of competitive football.

International Friendly: Switzerland vs USA was a chance for the head coaches to fine tune their teams in preparation for the fast approaching tournaments. Vladimir Petkovic’s hosts wanted a good test in their run up to Euro 2020 and the Switzerland vs USA highlights show how this Stars and Stripes team was willing to give their hosts just that. The visitors bossed the first half and went deservedly ahead, but Switzerland upped their game in the second period to earn a hard fought win.

 

Highlights of the game

The USA have scored goals for fun over the past five games, 25 in total, and it took them just five minutes to get off the mark in the Kybunpark tonight when 20 year old Brenden Aaronson fired in a cross which bounced around the danger area and Sebastian Lletget fired home the loose ball. 

International Friendly: Sebastian Lletget opens the scoring in their match against Switzerland
Sebastian Lletget celebrates after scoring against Switzerland

But just five minutes later the Swiss were level, though they needed a touch of fortune. 

Ricardo Rodriguez collected a cross field ball from Silvan Widmer and let fly from the left corner of the penalty area; his shot ricocheted off the heel of full back Reggie Cannon and beyond the gloves of Ethan Horvath and into the corner of the net.

Lletget had a taste for goals and he tested Yann Sommer with a long range shot after taking a pass from Josh Sargent; and then he came agonisingly close after Sargent had robbed Fabian Schar, but this time his shot clipped the post and hit the side netting. Sommer had to be alert to keep out a shot from Aaronsen, destined for the bottom corner, but he had an easier task to keep out a looping header from Sargent. 

The visitors deserved to be ahead at the break but they could so easily have gone in behind when Sergino Dest was harshly adjudged to have handled in the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot. But Rodriguez stepped up and promptly hammered the penalty wide of the right post, and that summed up the hosts first half. Switzerland skipper Granit Xhaka’s domestic campaign with Arsenal ended in disappointment with and eighth place position in the Premier League, and he had work to do to lift his national team to greater heights in the second half.

But at the start of the second half it was USA who came close to nudging ahead when Borussia Dortmund’s 18 year old striker Gio Reyna smashed a shot against the post; and that seemed to wake the hosts up. As Switzerland came out on attack Breel Embolo cut in from the right and left John Brooks standing before trying to chip Horvath but the keeper saved with his face. And the keeper made another brave save to deny Embolo again minutes later. The Swiss pressure told, on 63 minutes when the lively Embolo fed Steven Zuber and he fired low into the corner to make it 2-1.

Haris Seferovic had a glorious chance to make it 3-1 when he was clean through on goal but he chipped his effort wide. 

Key statistics

The pre-match Switzerland vs USA betting odds backed Petkovic’s side to come out on top of this clash but the Stars and Stripes dominated the first half with eight shots to two, and five to one on target.

The hosts fought back in the second half to bring the shot count back to 11 each and five each on target. The USA did enough to get a draw but Switzerland’s victory makes it four wins from four in 2021, while this ended a five match winning streak for the Stars and Stripes.  

 

What’s next?

This week, here at SBOTOP, we’ll be taking a look at some of the top nations in the run up to the European Championships, as France, Belgium and Spain all have friendlies lined up, and then there’s CONMEBOL action involving Argentina and Brazil as the top class entertainment keeps on coming thick and fast.    

The Swiss will have another opportunity to take a look at their players before Euro 2020 starts, when they entertain Lichtenstein on Thursday, before their Euro campaign begins against Wales on 12th June.

And next up, the USA will continue their preparation for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which starts in July, with a home date with Costa Rica, when, after taking part in Chelsea’s Champions League final triumph against Manchester City, talisman Christian Pulisic will rejoin his international team-mates.