Diego Benaglio

Switzerland 2-5 France: Sorry Switzerland flattened by France


France all but secured their passage through to the next round with a resounding 2-5 win over neighbours Switzerland in the highest scoring game of the World Cup thus far. Olivier Giroud, Blaise Matuidi, Mathieu Valbuena, Karim Benzema and Moussa Sissoko provided the France goals in a largely one-sided affair.

Two goals in two minutes killed Switzerland off early on in the match. The first coming when Giroud headed in Valbuena’s corner. Diego Benaglio could have done better with it but had a defender in his way that may have put him off.

Benaglio appeared to still be dwelling on the last goal but found himself picking the ball out of his net soon after. Just 13 seconds from the kick-off, France were two goals to the good. A dreadful pass by Valon Behrami was snatched upon by Benzema who fed Matuidi on his left who beat Benaglio at his near post.

It was 0-3 five minutes before half time when France broke on the counter attack. An intelligent pass from Raphael Varane found Giroud who bursted down the left and squared it to Valbuena who tapped home the third.

Les Blues should have even been four up at the break but Benzema had a penalty saved well by Benaglio after Johan Djourou fouled him in the box. Yohan Cabaye hit a rebound onto the post and out from close range.

They did have their fourth after 67 minutes though when substitute Paul Pogba’s silky pass with the outside of the boot was finished by Benzema through Benaglio’s legs after Phillipe Senderos’ attempted clearance contacted with nothing but air.

France had a fifth six minutes later when Moussa Sissoko slotted in first time. Gohkan Inler lost the ball in the midfield, France worked it to Benzema on the edge of the box who found the Newcastle man with a pass that resembled Pele’s to Carlos Alberto in the 1970 World Cup final and like Alberto, Sissoko scored with consummate ease.

Switzerland did hit back with a consolation in the last ten minutes thanks to the first goal scored from a direct free-kick with Blerim Dzemaili taking the honour. It was fortunate though as the French wall allowed it to drift through them when it should have been blocked easily.

Granit Xhaka scored a second for the Swiss three minutes from time, sweeping home a controlled volley but it was too little too late for Ottmar Hitzfeld’s side.

Benzema did in fact score again when he curled home a fantastic effort from the edge of box but, in a minor blow to his Golden Boot chances, the final whistle had already gone.

Switzerland 2-1 Ecuador


Group E started with a bang as Switzerland stole the points off a spirited Ecuador side.

Switzerland won the game in hugely dramatic circumstances. 45 seconds before the end Michael Arroyo had the goal at his mercy after being set up by Antonio Valencia but Valon Behrami came in with a last ditch challenge to save the Swiss.

They broke away with pace, Behrami moving it right and then Ricardo Rodriguez was set free on the left as Valencia’s offensive run had left space to be exploited, Rodriguez provided a low cross and Haris Seferovic swept home the winner first time.

Ecuador took the lead though in a first half of few clear-cut chances. Walter Ayovi’s flighted free-kick was headed home by Enner Valencia 22 minutes in.

Switzerland were unhappy that Ayovi decided to take his set piece outside the quadrant provided by the vanishing spray but referee Ravshan Irmatov allowed the goal.

Admir Mehmedi was introduced to the fold as a half time substitute and the super sub headed the Swiss level three minutes after coming on.

Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka wasn’t far away in the first half with a low strike that dipped and swerved but Maximo Banguera was equal to it and palmed it away for a corner.

Unsurprisingly, Xherden Shaqiri was the spearhead to any Switzerland danger but was largely wasteful throughout.

During the first half he had an effort from twenty yards that went straight into the ‘keeper’s arms and in the second he attempted a shot at goal from an impossible angle when a cross across goal would have been a better option.

Ecuador had opportunities to win the game themselves, most notable when Enner Valencia beat an onrushing Swiss stopper but Steve von Bergen was on hand to smash clear before Valencia could tuck away the winner.

Ayovi troubled Switzerland with another free-kick late on that moved considerably in the air but Diego Benaglio kept it out well.