Wales vs Switzerland Match Analysis

Wales came back from a goal down to earn a point in Baku. Second-best for much of the proceedings Wales got a massive point, which will increase their chances of qualifying from Group A. Switzerland thought they won the game late on, only for VAR to intervene and rule the goal out.

Bale (left) failed to have an impact on proceedings.

First Half: Switzerland on top

This match was an extremely cagey affair. Both sides knew that they must avoid defeat and therefore adopted a cautious approach. Furthermore, this can be seen by both sides beginning the match with five at the back. Switzerland had 64% of possession, double Wales’ shots and triple their corners.

Despite their dominance, Wales were still in the game. Manager Robert Page was a relieved man that his side did not concede in the first half. There was a lack of intensity in Wales’ play and and no counter-attacking threat at all. Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale had particularly quiet first half’s and this was mainly because of there lack of service. In the first half Wales were poor on the ball and this lead to waves of Switzerland attacks. The quiet first half consisted of both sides being wasteful in possession, as well as an abundance of fouls from both sides. If the second half continued in the same manner it was likely that Switzerland would find their way past the Red Dragons.

Second half: Wales fight back

Wales were much improved after Robert Page’s team-talk. They were much more direct and got their key players on the ball. They were almost rewarded for their major improvement when Kieffer Moore saw his effort tipped over the bar by Yann Sommer. The Cardiff City striker was a surprise inclusion in Page’s starting lineup, however the 28-year-old played well throughout. From that point on Switzerland took control of the match. Shaqiri, who was operating in a number ten position, began controlling the match. Striker, Breel Embolo began receiving more of the ball and his influence on the match grew.

Switzerland’s early pressure in the second half eventually paid off. After squandering several chances, Switzerland took the lead through Embolo. The Swiss effectively found a way through the Welsh marking system at corners. Joe Rodon made a decision of whether to stay on the goal line or to come and prevent the short corner. The Swiss sent an extra man forward to confuse Rodon and this left Embolo free. The prolific number nine found the back of the net and Switzerland had a well-earned lead.

Wales were slow to improve and lacked ideas in the final third. Daniel James was by far their best player, in which his goal-bound header was cleared by Mbabu. Eventually, Wales finally got their goal and it was through a set-piece. Joe Morrell’s cross found the towering Moore, who expertly found the back of the net. Ben Davies and Aaron Ramsey also came close, as the Red Dragons were now on top. Switzerland regained control of the match, as they searched for a winner late on. A series of stunning saves from keeper Danny Ward kept Page’s side in the game. Switzerland did find the back of the net through Mario Gravanovic, but the attacker was marginally offside. VAR intervened and the goal was chalked off.

What’s next for both sides?

Both sides will be content with a point, however Wales will be the happier going into the next round of fixtures. Wales were rather underwhelming and were second-best for the majority of the match. Nevertheless, Wales supporters will be proud of their side, who were playing against superior opposition. A point in the opening game will be seen almost as a win, as their chances of qualifying look much brighter. Manager Robert Page will now turn his sides attention to the fixture against Turkey, while Switzerland face the in-form Italy.

Author: Rajan Sangha

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