Hello all, today I have covered the World Cup 2022 qualifying match between Italy, the current European Championship holders, and Switzerland. Switzerland who had a fairytale story at this years Euro’s have been in fine form winning three of their last five games and drawing two. Including a stalemate between Italy 0-0. Murat Yakin’s side are missing personal such as Granit Xhaka their captain, who put in a monumental performance against France in ‘That Game’ during the Euro’s.
The Swiss are also missing Haris Seferovic, goalkeeper Gregor Kobel, Nico Elvedi, Christian Fassnacht, Breel Embolo and the assist king at the Euros Steven Zuber. Italy are also missing key personnel due to injury and pull-outs. The gladiator Giorgio Chiellini is still out with an injury until mid November, Lorenzo Pellegrini a formidable super sub, Nicolo Zaniolo of Roma, Marco Verratti and their main man up front Ciro Immobile of Lazio.
0′ Game Starts – Kick Off
7′ Switzerland are looking bright so far, keeping possession well even though a few breaks in play have happened. Nicolo Barella taking a knock from Denis Zakaria in the middle of the park. 0-0
9′ Foul: Remo Freuler is getting himself around early here but just catches Barella again as the Inter Milan regular uses his body well to guard the ball. 0-0
Goal! Switzerland score – Silvan Widmer with a rocket!
12′ Goal: A cracker from Widmer as the youngster Noah Okafor drives brilliantly down the line on a fast paced counter attack and waits for support from his team. He plays a perfectly weighted pass to the oncoming full back. The ball is smashed into the roof of Gianluigi Donnarumma’s goal. Widmer scored his maiden Bundesliga goal for Mainz last Friday and scores again on a Friday against the European Champions. 0-1
14′ Chance: Another driving run by a Switzerland youngster, this time Ruben Vargas of FC Augsburg, who cuts a dangerous ball across the box and a little mix up between the Italian centre back pair is not capitalised on by any Swiss player. 0-1
17′ Chance: Noah Okafor, on his first start, is looking really bright and cuts another ball back this time for Xherdan Shaqiri, but he hits it with his least favoured right boot and it flies high above the goal. Switzerland have not dropped off their intensity after the opener. 0-1
22′ Big Chance: Emerson drives well down the left flank and cuts back a ball to the edge of the box for Jorginho and the ball bounces around the six yard box, and fall kindly to Federico Chiesa who looked certain to score but the flying Yann Sommer proves his worth again. 0-1
31′ Foul: Free kick for Switzerland as Vargas is caught by the falling boot of Giovanni Di Lorenzo. 0-1
32′ Save: Donnarumma gets down low to save a header from Fabian Schar from the resulting free kick. 0-1
Goal! Italy score – Di Lorenzo climbs high in Rome
36′ Goal: Free kick is whipped in at pace from Lorenzo Insigne, and the Napoli full back beats Sommer and Widmer to the ball and heads home to score the equaliser. VAR had a look at the goal but nothing was wrong with it. The Azzurri are full of relief after a tricky first half in Rome tonight. 1-1
43′ Yellow Card: Federico Chiesa is booked due to a few challenges now but this time on Vargas down the left flank. The ball is booted clear from the resulting free kick. 1-1
45′ Two minutes of added time as a minimum in the first half. 1-1
Half Time – Italy 1-1 Switzerland
The shares are even here at half time in the Stadio Olimpico. Both teams right backs putting their names on the score sheet. Widmer with a thumping effort and Di Lorenzo nodding home the equaliser. The contest has been very even up to this point as proven by the score line. Mancini’s side definitely have the momentum now but, even though going in front, the Swiss will be happy with that first half against the European giants.
Second Half Begins
45′ Game kicks off. 1-1
46′ Yellow Card: The second booking for Italy is for Lorenzo Insigne who goes in harshly into Widmer. 1-1
47′ Shouts for a penalty from the Swiss as Noah Okafor fires a cross and hits Leonardo Bonucci’s arm, no VAR look at this after Anthony Taylor waves away the though of a spot kick. 1-1
51′ Update: A draw here tonight between the two sides will mean they both go into the final match day level on points, Italy only leading on goal difference. Both teams a putting a stellar performance in tonight proving their worth and quality to each other. 1-1
54′ Shot: Denis Zakaria shoots from 25 yards out but drags his right footed effort wide of Donnarumma’s right hand post. 1-1
59′ Corner won for Italy after great work by Insigne, and he raises his arms to the crowd to get the noise up in the stadium. The corner leads to nothing as it is hit deep by Insigne. 1-1
65′ The Mexican waves are starting to fly around the stadium now, after little action in the second half so far. 1-1
67′ Corner: Italy force a corner after some neat trickery from sub Domenico Berardi. No outcome from the set piece.
68′ Shot: Emerson fires a powerful drive way too high to trouble Sommer and the Italians are fuming with his decision to shoot from such a sharp angle. 1-1
Substitutions for Switzerland:
69′ Substitution for Italy – OFF: Nicolo Barella ON: Bryan Cristante – Mancini makes his third change of the night and its the Roma deep midfielder who comes on for the ever running Barella of Inter. 1-1
76′ Corner: Interception by Sandro Tonali from a sloppy Widmer pass and he drives with the ball eventually passing through the legs of Widmer and the ball hits the retreating Freuler to go out for the corner. 1-1
76′ Big Chance: Sommer again saves Switzerland as Insigne’s shot fires low and is cleverly parried to the side away from any danger. 1-1
77′ Yellow Card: Fabian Schar is penalised for a cynical bit of shirt pulling on Chiesa, as the Italian got the best on him from a spin. 1-1
79′ Substitutions for Switzerland: OFF: Noah Okafor ON: Fabian Frei – OFF: Xherdan Shaqiri ON: Djibril Sow – Murat Yakin looking to seal out this game and settle for a draw in Rome. 1-1
81′ Yellow card: Manuel Akanji is cautioned for the Swiss and will miss the last match of qualifiying against Bulgaria.
87′ Penalty Shout: Domenico Berardi goes down after a clumbsy challenge by Garcia. 1-1
88′ VAR CHECK: Anthony Taylor goes over to the VAR screen to do an on field check, and that usually means penalty. 1-1
Penalty Awarded for Italy! VAR overturns Anthony Taylor’s initial decision. 1-1
90′ PENALTY MISS! Jorginho a regular penalty taker doesn’t even trouble Sommer. 1-1
He fires to the sky with an appalling penalty. The shot is still rising over the the top left of the goal and the Chelsea man continues to miss from the spot, even after switching up from his normal hop penalty technique. 1-1
90′ Four minutes of added time.
93′ Big Chance: Another chance goes begging for the Swiss as Donnarumma loses control of the ball and Andi Zeqiri doesn’t expect it and just lashes at the ball with an open net, but slices it wide and is eventually cleared by Bonucci. 1-1
95′ Anthony Taylor holds the whistle to his mouth and the game is finished. 1-1
Full Time – Italy 1-1 Switzerland
A dramatic game in Group C on Matchday nine in Rome comes to a conclusion. The points are shared between the two sides, and definitely the Swiss will be feeling better. After a great opening half an hour the Swiss has heaps of pressure put on them by the European Champions, and that fell apart after Lorenzo Di Lorenzo’s header.
Switzerland did them selves justice though with an outstanding, hard working performance again as they continue this fine form they are on. They had a lucky escape with the penalty miss but on the balance of everything they deserved a point. A great nights work for the away side and will look to carry on their form against Bulgaria. So to with Italy who will challenge Northern Ireland on Monday.