Switzerland 5–2 Belgium: Five-star Swiss produce incredible comeback

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The Swiss players celebrate their famous win. (Toto Marti/Blick)

Switzerland pulled off a stunning comeback to beat Belgium 5-2, as they qualified for the inaugural Nations League Finals next June.

Switzerland came from 2-0 down to secure all three points in Luzern, and therefore win Group A2 and secure their place in the Nations League semi-finals.

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Ricardo Rodríguez is congratulated after scoring Switzerland’s first goal. (Toto Marti/Blick)

Vladimir Petković made eight changes from Wednesday’s defeat to Qatar, including an entirely new backline and the return of Xherdan Shaqiri and Haris Seferović in attack.

The game couldn’t have started any worse for Switzerland. With just one minute played, Nico Elvedi’s poor first touch put Thorgan Hazard through perfectly, as he slotted past Yann Sommer with ease.

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Belgium celebrate after Thorgan Hazard puts them in front. (Toto Marti/Blick)

It got even worse for the Swiss, as Thorgan Hazard fired a shot from outside the box to make it 2-0 after 17 minutes. He was completely unmarked with far too much space and time, as he doubled Belgium’s lead in Luzern.

Suddenly Switzerland got a lifeline back into the game when Kevin Mbabu won a penalty on 26 minutes. Ricardo Rodríguez slotted the ball past Thibaut Courtois to pull the Schweizer Nati back into the game.

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Ricardo Rodríguez scoring his penalty to make it 2-1 Belgium. (Toto Marti/Blick)

All of the sudden the Swiss had momentum and drew level on 31 minutes when a long ball from Rodríguez was headed on by Shaqiri to Haris Seferović, who tapped it in to make it 2-2.

Two goals in five minutes woke Switzerland up, and all of a sudden they were completely rejuvenated. The Swiss took the lead just before half-time, when Seferović scored his second of the game as his shot found the top corner.

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Granit Xhaka congratulates Haris Seferović. (Toto Marti/Blick)

It got even better for the Schweizer Nati, as Nico Elvedi redeemed himself as he headed home. Suddenly, Switzerland had gone from 2-0 down to 4-2 up, and were on the verge of qualifying for the Nations League Finals.

Haris Seferović finished it off for the Swiss, as he headed past Courtois to complete his hat-trick. His goal completed a stunning comeback, securing Switzerland’s place in the last four of the Nations League.

 


Man of the Match

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Haris Seferović scores the first of his three goals, slotting past Thibaut Courtois. (Toto Marti/Blick)

Haris Seferović, I owe you an apology. I constantly criticise him but today he was outstanding. After a quiet opening 30 minutes, he scored a hat-trick against the best team in the world. Seferović was by far the best player on the pitch, and I cannot praise him enough.

Almost a year ago to the day, I remember Seferović was substituted in the 0-0 draw against Northern Ireland- Swiss fans booed him off. Today, his substitution earned a deserved standing ovation, in his greatest night in a Switzerland shirt.

So Haris, I apologise. I will never disrespect you again.

 


What next?

The result in Luzern sees Switzerland win the group, and qualify for the inaugural Nations League Finals. They will be played next June in Portugal, with two semi-finals and the final. The Swiss join England, Portugal and the Netherlands.

Belgium finish second in Group A2, being edged out on a head-to-head system with Switzerland.

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The final table for Group A2. (UEFA)

Tonight was one of my proudest moments as a Switzerland fan. This was one of the best performances I have seen from my national team in my eight years supporting them, and I couldn’t be prouder.

The Swiss fought hard, they battled until the end, and secured a famous win. They showed outstanding character to turn the game around, and to score five goals against the best team in the world is a wonderful achievement. I am so proud to be Swiss.

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The Swiss squad posing for the pre-match (Toto Marti/Blick)

 

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