Our first quarter final kicked off early on Saturday as Switzerland took on Finland. Even though Finland scored four goals in every game and are undefeated, Paul Bergin’s side were very much underdogs. Despite not recieving maximum points in the group stages, Switzerland impressed all who was keeping an eye on Group A.
The game kicked off as many expected, with Switzerland storming out of the gates. Breel Embolo, a standout for Switzerland in this tournament, tested the Finnish goalkeeper inside the first three minutes only to be denied by a great save. Embolo did not have to wait long to test the keeper again, this time sending his side ahead. The Finland defence clamored to get the ball out of their box, only for Vaisanen to fluff the clearance and the ball to fall at Embolo’s feet. He striked with such velocity, it left the whole Finnish team stunned. Many people believing that Switzerland had just booked their place in the semi finals, with five minutes gone.
Like a Shark Finland struck, no longer happy just showing their fin, they showcased their whole power. Pukki tried a sneaky toe poke , that was parried away easily before Uronen circled back to pounce on the ball and level the game for the Scandinavian country.
A chess match ensued, with both teams proving to be very cautious about making a move. Finally on the 37th minute, hero from the last round Skrabb innocently broke into the Switzerland defence, Akjani seemed to have done enough to deny Finland taking the lead. However unfortunately for him, luck was on Skrabb’s side , as the ball found its way back to his control, allowing him to pop a shot off. Agonizingly it cracked off the post, however showing true striker instinct Teemu Pukki was there to gobble up the rebound and smash the ball in the back of the Swiss net.
The second half began and Finland seemed content to sit back and defend their deserved lead. It proved to be an inspired decision, as Switzerland struggled to break down the compacted Finland team. Embolo and Steffen both has chances that ultimately were thwarted by a defiant defensive performance. The game ending with Finland now progressing semi final, they now await to find out their fate, as Germany take on Sweden on Monday.
Speaking tho KCLR after the game, Finland manager Paul Bergin said “We were lucky enough, we had no shots in the second half, but you need luck to win tournaments like this. ” He continued ” It was pure relief when the whistle went”