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An enthralling Wales – Switzerland clash in Baku, Azerbaijan ended level as Group A has been set up perfectly.
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After Italy hammered Turkey 3-0 in the EURO 2020 opener, Switzerland dominated Wales for large periods and Breel Embolo gave them a deserved lead.
Kieffer Moore equalized in fine fashion late on to grab a point for Wales, who face Turkey in Baku on Wednesday.
Switzerland now travel to Rome to face Italy in their second group game.
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Three things we learned, Wales – Switzerland
1. Wales lacked energy: After a long trip to Baku and playing in the searing heat, you could understand why the Welsh players looked jaded. They never got going but dug deep to grab an equalizer that they probably didn’t deserve. Still, Robert Page got his subs spot on and a draw against Switzerland isn’t the worst result considering they face Turkey next.
2. Don’t sleep on Switzerland: They looked dangerous for large spells of this game and if they had a clinical finisher up top instead of Haris Seferovic, they would have won this game easily. Shaqiri, Xhaka and Embolo all have the quality to create and cause problems, and if Switzerland can stay tight at the back, then they can reach the latter stages of this tournament.
3. Moore the real deal: The Cardiff City striker has had an incredible rise through the lower leagues in England and after his fine season in the Championship, Welsh fans wanted him to start. With Bale, Ramsey and James whipping in crosses, the towering striker caused problems and took his goal really well and forced Yann Sommer into a fine early save. If Wales can become more solid defensively, Moore provides them with a focal point to create chances of their own.
Man of the Match: Danny Ward – He was selected over Wayne Hennessey and what a decision that was. Three superb stops to keep the Swiss at bay.
The first big chance of the game fell to Wales as Daniel James whipped in a cross that Moore headed brilliantly towards the top corner, but Sommer pulled off a fantastic one-handed save.
Danny Ward then pulled off a great save to deny Fabian Schar’s clever flick at the near post from a corner and Granit Xhaka flashed a shot wide from distance.
Switzerland had the better chances as Haris Seferovic and others went close, with Wales struggling to keep the ball.
In the second half Ward denied Embolo after he surged free, as the Welsh goalkeeper produced a brilliant stop. But from the resulting corner kick Shaqiri found Embolo and he nodded home the opener.
Kevin Mbabu then dragged a shot wide when played in by Embolo, as the Swiss continued to dominate.
Aaron Ramsey whipped in a free kick which just evaded everyone, as Wales pushed hard late on for the equalizer. And it arrived.
A short corner caught Switzerland out and Moore glanced a brilliant header into the far corner to make it 1-1.
Wales were buoyed by that equalizer as David Brooks crossed towards Ramsey but he couldn’t slide in at the back post to convert.
A Swiss substitute then thought he had won it, as Mario Gavranovic finished off a brilliant team move… but VAR overturned the goal as he was just offside.
Ward then tipped Embolo’s header over and denied Gavranovic, as Wales held on for a valuable point.