The Swiss team slapped 4-0 in Portugal

The game, however, seemed to have started well. After five minutes of play at the José Alvalade XXI Stadium in Lisbon, Haris Seferovic propelled the ball into the cage of Rui Patricio and thought to give an early advantage to the Swiss team against Portugal. The problem was that Fabian Schär was fouled by referee Orel Grinfeld. The score remained at 0-0. But Nati started on a more promising basis than on Thursday, when they were beaten by the Czech Republic (2-1).

Also read: No Portuguese in the Nati, the enigma of Swiss football

Murat Yakin and his men had to be disenchanted. They were leading 3-0 at halftime and could almost feel happy about it, so much so that their opponents had a chance to aggravate the mark. João Cancelo did it in the second period. Final score: 4-0.

Switzerland still have not won in 2022, after four games (one draw, three defeats). Above all, this time she has conceded a violent setback as there are few in her recent history. It is necessary to go back to March 26, 2008 to find the trace of a Swiss defeat by four goals away (0-4 against Germany). Otherwise, beyond the recent memory of the slap received from Italy during the Euro (3-0), she had never lost by more than one goal away since June 5, 2019. It was already against Portugal, already in the League of Nations (3-1)

Message of confidence

Question: How important should this competition really be? On the one hand, there is Ricardo Rodriguez who, at the beginning of the rally, stated, ambitiously, that he wanted to win it. There is also an open will to stay in the first division to have the opportunity to regularly rub shoulders with the best teams on the continent. But on the other hand, there is the resolutely experimental approach taken these days by Murat Yakin. Clearly, the coach did not line up his best team on Sunday. Or, to put it another way, the one he would have lined up against the same team in the World Cup.

Also read: In Prague, defeat of a Swiss team without a mark

Of course, he had to make up for a few tiles, including Ruben Vargas’ injury on the warm-up, which he replaced with Jordan Lotomba. But he also made a number of strong choices. On goal, he saved Yann Sommer for Gregor Kobel (and already announced that Jonas Omlin would also play a game next week). On defense, he titled Kevin Mbabu while Silvan Widmer appears to have taken the upper hand on the right flank. In attack, he gave his chance to Haris Seferovic, who has lacked playing time in recent months. To all these players, he sent a message of confidence. He told them, “I’m counting on you.”

And at first, the energy on the ground proved him right. With seven new heads compared to Thursday’s game against the Czech Republic, and a different system as well, Nati looked more comfortable, stronger, even more inspired, with an Xherdan Shaqiri who looked like he had a big desire to do well.

Ronaldo striker twice

And then in the quarter of an hour of play, William Carvalho opened the scoring following a free kick by Cristiano Ronaldo pushed back into the axis by Gregor Kobel. This action had to sum up what was happening: a Portugal with a lead time in all circumstances. Of course, there is the huge class of players like Bruno Fernandes, Diogo Jota or Cristiano Ronaldo, who combined well to score the second goal. But above all, there is, collectively, an ability to project forward without comparison. At the end of the first half, when the best of Portugal and the worst of Switzerland were measured, Ronaldo scored once more, but he could have done so three more times on a series of explosive actions.

Nati are now ahead of two matches at the Geneva Stadium on Thursday against Spain and once again against Portugal on Sunday. Two beautiful posters, which will attract many spectators, and around which many questions will be asked. The main one: is this four-goal defeat against Portugal the side effect of setting up a new Swiss team, or the symptom of a beginning of crisis, ten months after the entry according to Murat Yakin?

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