Swiss snap losing streak with win against Slovakia
26 May 2008
LUGANO – Valon Behrami had a goal and assist to help Switzerland snap a four-match losing streak with a 2-0 win over Slovakia in a friendly match Saturday.
The victory was not overwhelming but will do much to revive spirits among the Swiss, who have been battered by injuries and poor form ahead of the European Championship they are co-hosting next month.
After a scoreless first half, Behrami broke the deadlock with a well-worked goal in the 56th minute.
Defender Philippe Senderos played the ball out wide on the right to Behrami, who slipped a nice pass inside to Gokhan Inler.
The midfielder’s shot was parried by Slovak goalkeeper Jan Mucha, but straight into the direction of Behrami who scored from 10 metres. It was only his second goal in 15 international matches.
Four minutes later, Behrami nearly set up Alexander Frei for a second with a curling cross past the defence. But Frei’s header produced an excellent save from Mucha.
In the 63rd minute, the duo teamed up again and this time for a goal. Johan Vonlanthen played Behrami through and the Lazio player pushed it past the onrushing Mucha, leaving Frei a simple tap-in for his 33rd goal in 58 internationals.
The warm-up match was the last for Switzerland before coach Koebi Kuhn must trim his squad down to 23 players.
Patrick Mueller, who has been injured the whole season for his French club Lyon, played 76 minutes and now appears likely to make the cut. The Swiss backline appeared calm with the 31-year-old defender alongside Senderos in the centre after a 4-0 loss against Germany in March that Mueller did not play in.
Switzerland kicks off the Euro 2008 on 7 June against the Czech Republic.
[AP / Expatica]