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Switzerland forced to wait for knock-out fate despite Shaqiri double

Baku – Xherdan Shaqiri scored twice as Switzerland beat Turkey 3-1 in Baku on Sunday but they will have to wait to see if they reach the last 16 of Euro 2020 as one of the four best third-placed teams.

Wales held on to second place in Group A thanks to a superior goal difference after their 1-0 loss to Italy.

Shaqiri’s goals came after Haris Seferovic’s first-half opener and either side of Irfan Kahveci scoring Turkey’s only goal of the tournament.

“Over the next few days I can’t do anything. We have to wait,” Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic said.

“I’m optimistic we will reach the next round.”

Turkey boss Senol Gunes said he would not consider standing down despite his team finishing bottom of the group.

“My thought is not about resigning now,” Gunes said.

“I’m very sad to be going out after this. This team is good enough to overcome this. I believe in their talent.”

Petkovic made two changes from Wednesday’s heavy loss to Italy, including giving Steven Zuber his first start of the championship.

Gunes brought centre-back Merih Demiral back after dropping the Juventus defender last time out, with his side looking to avoid a third straight competitive defeat for the first time since Euro 1996.

Switzerland opened the scoring in the sixth minute, silencing the 17,000 crowd supporting Turkey due to close historical and diplomatic ties between Ankara and Baku.

Seferovic buried a low effort past Turkish goalkeeper Ugurcan Cakir for his 22nd international goal, after Zuber’s turn and pass.

Zuber was involved again for the second 20 minutes later, as Seferovic held up possession and his pass deflected to the Eintracht Frankfurt winger’s feet.

The former Hoffenheim man then fed Shaqiri who curled a sublime effort past a helpless Cakir from the edge of the box.

Shaqiri should have doubled his account for the match less than two minutes later when a bursting run put the Liverpool midfielder clear with just the goalkeeper to beat, but Cakir saved with his foot.

Zuber on-form

Just after the half-hour mark, Turkey left-back Mert Muldur tested goalkeeper Yann Sommer with a shot from outside the area but the 32-year-old, who became a father for a second time earlier this week, parried away.

Switzerland’s advantage was halved on the hour mark to send the crowd wild.

Hakan Calhanoglu fed Kahveci who shimmied outside the area before firing a left-footed strike into the top corner for his first international goal.

But Switzerland restored their two-goal lead six minutes later as Shaqiri claimed his second.

The 29-year-old, who scored just once in 22 club appearances this season, netted again from another Zuber assist following a quick counter-attack.

With 20 minutes to play, Switzerland still needed a two-goal swing to move above Wales into second place.

Petkovic added fresh legs to his attack by replacing goal-scorers Shaqiri and Seferovic with Ruben Vargas and Mario Gavranovic.

But Switzerland failed to find the required goals and their fate is in the hands of other sides’ results. — AFP

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