Wales began their European journey against Switzerland in Baku, with temperatures reaching 27 degrees Celsius.
They played a 4-1-4-1 formation with Aaron Ramsey in behind Keith Moore with both Dan James and Gareth Bale playing on the flanks. While Switzerland played five at the back with Xherdan Shaqiri in the central attacking midfield position and Granit Xhaka leading his nation as captain.
Wales began positively by attacking through the flanks and crossing the ball into the box, but Switzerland’s backline anticipated this and prevented conceding an early goal.
Cymru had the first chance on goal when Dan James’ cross was met with a powerful header by Keith Moore directed goal-wards but was incredibly saved by Yan Sommer in the 14th minute.
Switzerland almost stole the lead in the 20th minute in a spectacular fashion when a near-post corner allowed Fabian Schär to flick the ball towards the goal but it was saved by Danny Ward.
After a sinister foul by Schär on James, he was shown the first yellow of the match, but it showed the Swiss feared going one on one with both Welsh wingers.
The Swiss almost ended the half with a golden opportunity after Breel Embolo laid it for Haris Seferović inside the box, but his shot went over the bar.
The first half ended with Switzerland dominating and keeping the ball in Wales’ half but failed to make Danny Ward work more in goal.
After several set pieces throughout the first half, the second half began with Shaqiri’s corner giving Embolo the chance to score the opener with a header in the 49th minute. A well-deserved lead for Switzerland, who should have a larger scoreline.
Embolo came close in the 65th minute with a shot bending around the post .
However, against the run of play, Keith Moore scored in the 74th minute after a short corner led to a cross by Joe Morrell. Moore headed the ball past Sommer to give Wales a precious equaliser.
After being substitute on, within a minute, Mario Gavranović believed he gave Switzerland the tiebreaker in the last 5 minutes and broke the Welsh fans’ hearts. However, the goal ended up being ruled offside after a VAR check.
Embolo’s header was tipped over the bar by Ward in the final minute of the 90 minutes after a great corner by Ricardo Rodríguez.
The game ended as a draw which would have disappointed Switzerland more than Wales after a dominating performance for most of the game. However, Danny Ward produced some terrific saves to keep Wales in the game.
Moore was vigilant throughout the match to seek out a rare but golden opportunity to secure a draw.
Source of Image: UEFA EURO 2020
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