Tuesday 14th October 2014
European Championships Qualifying Group E
Stadio Olimpico, Serravalle, San Marino
San Marino 0-4 Switzerland
A strong first half from the Swiss set them on their way to a predictably comfortable win in Serravalle over the Sammarinese boys in blue, who were missing top goal scorer Andy Selva to injury, replaced by Mattia Stefanelli.
The win provided Switzerland with their belated first points of the group. Coming into this game, Switzerland had suffered defeats to England, 2-0 at home, and Slovenia, 1-0 away.
But this was always going to be an easier task and two goals from Haris Seferovic in the opening 24 minutes meant that any fears of a shock result were well and truly dismissed early on. A third was added before half an hour was up through Blerim Dzemaili and a fourth in the second half from Xherdan Shaqiri to garner Switzerland’s first points and drag them clear of San Marino at the bottom – a situation that was never likely to last for long.
Switzerland had fifteen attempts on target, so I guess from a San Marino point of view the slight crumb of comfort is that only four of those found their way past Aldo Simoncini in the San Marino goal. San Marino did manage two attempts on target themselves too which is something of a feat, one of which came in the opening minute when memories of Davide Gualtieri were rekindled as Giovanni Bonini bombed forward on the right only to panic slightly when the goal appeared before him, seeing his effort saved at the near post.
“I believe in teamwork and in my group. We have 30 interesting players, who made, make and will make sacrifices to be involved in this kind of game. They are an example even for professional players like the Swiss, who do this as a job.
We accept this result, knowing that the margin of defeat could have been wider and there are many things that need improving, first of all the athletic performance.
Our squad needs to be evaluated day by day. We are very proud of Stefanelli’s performance tonight. Andy Selva was not in the right condition to play but we can rely on him. We have other players who haven’t featured yet, but the next games will be an opportunity for them.
Aldo Simoncini is different class for us – he’s not a professional player although he has the ability to be one. He’s reaching maturity and we are very happy to have him in our team.”
Swiss coach Valdimir Petkovic was also full of praise for Simoncini’s efforts, stating “I’d like to congratulate Simoncini – he made some quality saves.” Although he did add that his side hadn’t created as many chances as he thought they should have done; a failing they’d shown in all three matches so far in the group.
Highlights can be seen here.
Two days earlier, the other sides in Group E played out their fixtures, the results below:
Estonia 0-1 England
Lithuania 0-2 Slovenia
All of which leaves the Group E standing like this:
|England||Pl. 3||Pts. 9|