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Switzerland content with role of playing second fiddle to France

France 0 - Switzerland 0

By Jack Pitt-Brooke

Published 20/06/2016

Letting rip: Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka plays on with a torn shirt
Letting rip: Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka plays on with a torn shirt

This time there was no last-minute winner, no spectacular drama and no three points for France. Twice in Group A they saved themselves by beating Romania and Albania right at the death. But last night in Lille, against Switzerland, they could not.

France had their moments, and when Dimitri Payet stood over a free-kick with three minutes left it felt as if he was going to produce yet another moment of match-winning inspiration, to rescue his manager once again. But his free-kick hit Moussa Sissoko and rolled away for a goal-kick.

Of course this 0-0 draw was more than enough for France who finished with seven, comfortably topping Group A. They did not play any worse than they did in Paris or Marseille and, on an almost unplayable pitch, they created some good chances. Paul Pogba, their best player, hit the woodwork twice.

But against a Swiss team happy to take the point that confirmed second, France still could not do enough. With the group stage done, France is still waiting for a complete performance, a first-half goal or even a clear sense of their best team. There has to be much more to come.

FRANCE: Lloris, Sagna, Rami, Koscielny, Evra, Sissoko, Cabaye, Pogba, Coman (Payet, 63 mins), Gignac, Griezmann (Matuidi 78).

Subs not used: Mandanda, Jallet, Kante, Giroud, Martial, Schneiderlin, Mangala, Digne, Umtiti, Costil.

Yellow cards: Rami, Koscielny.

SWITZERLAND: Sommer, Lichtsteiner, Schar, Djourou, Rodriguez, Behrami, Xhaka, Shaqiri (Fernandes, 79 mins), Dzemaili, Mehmedi (Lang 86), Embolo (Seferovic 74).

Subs not used: Hitz, Moubandje, Elvedi, von Bergen, Frei, Zakaria, Tarashaj, Derdiyok, Burki.

Referee: Damir Skomina (Slovenia).

Match rating: 5/10

Man of the match: Yann Sommer

Possession: France 41% Switzerland 59%

Shots on target: France 4 Switzerland 0

Fouls committed: France 10 Switzerland 8

Belfast Telegraph

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