Mehmedi secures point for Switzerland – highlights & report

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Romania picked up their first point at Euro 2016 as Switzerland moved closer to securing a spot in the last 16 with a hard-fought draw at Parc des Princes.

A win would have put Switzerland through to the knockout stages but they were left with work to do to get out of Group A after failing to take several early chances.

Haris Seferovic was the main culprit, missing two clear-cut opportunities before Bogdan Stancu’s second penalty of the tournament gave Romania an 18th-minute lead.

Russian referee Sergei Karasev pointed to the spot after Stephan Lichsteiner grabbed a handful of Alexandru Chipciu’s shirt inside the box, and Stancu netted despite stumbling as he struck the ball.

With Romania remaining dangerous on the break, Switzerland dominated possession but had to wait until the 57th minute to equalise.

A corner was only half-cleared to Admir Mehmedi and he met the bouncing ball with an unstoppable first-time strike from 12 yards.

Switzerland brought on highly rated teenager Breel Embolo for the final half hour to try to win the game, but Romania were resolute and kept alive their hopes of automatic qualification with one game to go.

Relive Wednesday’s Group A and Group B games

Swiss misses almost prove costly

Shots

Just as in their first group game against Albania, it was Switzerland’s finishing that let them down after some neat build-up play.

Seferovic showed a lack of composure in front of goal, first to fire wide from inside the area and then to shoot straight at Romania’s goalkeeper when Xherdan Shaqiri slid him through.

Blerim Dzemali was also guilty of a bad miss, somehow heading wide after running on to Lichsteiner’s looping cross.

Vladimir Petkovic’s side deserved something for their enterprising forward play, however, and they got it thanks to Mehmedi’s spectacular leveller.

Romania revival after opening loss

This was a familiar story for Romania too – for the second successive game, a sweet strike cost them points.

But this display was much better than in their Dimitri Payet-inspired defeat by France in the opening game of the tournament.

Chipciu was a constant threat with his pace down Romania’s left flank and they came close to a second goal when Cristian Sapunaru swivelled to shoot against the post when a free-kick dropped at his feet.

Anghel Iordanescu’s side may only have one point from their first two matches, but they will be confident of beating Albania in their final game and finding a way into the last 16 themselves.

Who is Bogdan Stancu?

Bogdan Stancu celebrates

Romania’s goalscorer is a 28-year-old striker for Turkish side Genclerbirligi who, with two goals, is an unlikely early pacesetter in the race to be the tournament’s top scorer.

Stancu is more of a deep-lying forward than a fox in the box – but he does take Romania’s penalties.

Just as in his side’s opening game a few miles across Paris at Stade de France, he got his chance from the spot and did not disappoint his side’s noisy fans who have stayed in the city all week.

He slipped as he took it, but still found the bottom corner to become the first player to score two penalties at a European Championship finals since Spain’s Gaizka Mendieta at Euro 2000.

Man of the match – Ciprian Tatarusanu

Ciprian Tatarusanu makes a save

What next?

France can become the first team to reach the last 16 if they beat Albania in Marseille later on Wednesday.

The hosts are the next opponents for Switzerland in Lille on 19 June. Romania play Albania in Lyon on the same day.

The stats you need to know

  • Romania’s starting XI was their oldest in a European Championship finals match (29 years 305 days).
  • Bogdan Stancu is only the third player to score more than one penalty in a Euros finals tournament (Arnesen in 1984 and Mendieta in 2000, two each).
  • Romania are also the first side to win penalties in consecutive European Championship finals games since England (in 2000 v Romania and then in 2004 v France).
  • Stancu has netted two goals in two games in Euro 2016 after failing to score in a competitive game for Romania since October 2014 (v Finland in the qualifiers).
  • Admir Mehmedi is the first Switzerland player to score at both a European Championship finals (2016) and a World Cup finals (2014).
  • Switzerland had 19 shots, the most they have ever managed in a Euros finals fixture.
  • Romania have kept just one clean sheet in their 15 European Championship finals games (0-0 v France in June 2008).
  • Four of Switzerland’s seven goals at Euros finals have come from set-pieces (two penalties, two corners).

Line-ups

Romania

  • 12Tatarusanu
  • 22Sapunaru
  • 6Chiriches
  • 21GrigoreBooked at 76mins
  • 3Rat