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Euro 2020: Swiss coach confident of last-16 spot despite tough travel

Euro 2020: Swiss coach confident of last-16 spot despite tough travel
Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic will wait until the last moment before finalising his European Championship squad and sees Sunday’s friendly against the United States as a chance for fringe players to make a last bid for selection.

Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic is confident his side have done enough to reach the last 16 at Euro 2020 after a 3-1 win over Turkey on Sunday but he criticised the long distances his side have had to travel during the tournament.

Xherdan Shaqiri scored two superb goals as Switzerland secured third place in Group A at Euro 2020 with the win against Turkey, but they now face an anxious wait to see if they will reach the last 16.

The Swiss, who finished level on four points with Wales but behind on goal difference, will hope to secure a spot in the knockouts as one of the four best third-placed finishers from the six groups.

“We scored a few goals but unfortunately we had more chances we didn’t convert,” Petkovic said. “It wasn’t a perfect game but it was a good game.”

“It should be enough to reach the knockout round.”

The Swiss drew 1-1 with Wales in their opening match before being thumped 3-0 by a stylish Italy side who won the group.

Petkovic shuffled his defence following the game against Italy in a move he said was part of a plan to show more bite in attack and catch Turkey off guard.

“Tonight we also changed the set up on the ball and off the ball,” he said. “I wanted to surprise Turkey. We managed to do so and I’m proud of how we played.”

Switzerland opened their Euro 2020 campaign in Baku against Wales and then travelled to Rome to face Italy before returning to Azerbaijan for their final group match. Petkovic said the long distances they had to travel made preparation difficult.

“Tomorrow it will be the fourth time we are changing a two-hour time zone,” the coach said. “That is not good for preparation.”

“We had to travel so much and change so many things but I have to compliment my players how they reacted.”

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