(Football news) At the weekend, Murat Yakin’s team made a huge error, losing two points at the very end of a game for the second time in a row. Vedat Muriqi’s 95th-minute equaliser in the Kosovan capital Prishtina allowed for a share of the spoils as Switzerland twice gave up the advantage to draw 2-2.
Despite being three points better than Israel in third place, that outcome leaves their future in limbo. Switzerland still has to travel to Israel and take on second-placed Romania, who stole a draw against them in June.
They were leading Romania 2-0 with 89 minutes remaining when they shockingly lost the lead, resulting in a tie. The visit of Andorra is well appreciated considering the prospect of Switzerland collecting a very easy three points despite dropping four points in two games.
Switzerland defeated Liechtenstein, the lowest-seeded team in their previous qualifying group, 7-0 at home. They have also defeated Belarus 5-0 thus far this season.
In the rematch, Andorra gave Switzerland a serious fright by rallying to even the score after the Swiss had taken a 2-0 lead. The scoreline of 2-1 was identical to that of the match between the teams in Andorra during 2018 World Cup qualifying, during which the Swiss won 3-0 at home.
Given that they were the lowest seeds in the draw, Andorra’s two points from their five qualifiers thus far represents a significant accomplishment. A major accomplishment for the microstate was holding Belarus and Kosovo to 0-0 draws, and two very regrettable 2-1 losses to Switzerland and Israel demonstrate that they are no longer the overwhelming underdogs they once were.
In their Nations League group last season, eight points from six games has seen confidence steadily build. However, more wins would be much appreciated because Andorra has only done so against San Marino, Liechtenstein (both twice), Grenada, and Saint Kitts & Nevis in the previous four years.
Switzerland Euro Qualifier Form
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Andorra Euro Qualifier Form
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Zeki Amdouni of Burnley will retake the starting spot for Switzerland while Breel Embolo, their primary striker, is out for this international window. However, given the level of competition, Yakin might choose for more attacking options, in which case Noah Okafor, the newest member of AC Milan, might also play.
The three players who began in Prishtina were Xherdan Shaqiri, Amdouni, and Ruben Vargas. Cedric Itten will also be looking for a look in considering his recent performance with Young Boys.
Just a week after moving from Nottingham Forest to Bologna, Remo Freuler was in fine form in Kosovo, scoring the game’s first goal and also setting up the second when Amir Rrahmani’s effort was deflected in for an own goal.
Ildefons Lima, who holds the record for most caps for Andorra and also scored goals, is still on the team at the age of 43, but he is not expected to play. Berto Rosas, a squad member and a teammate of Lima’s from FC Andorra, will be the most dangerous attacking option.
Rosas scored in their June loss to Israel before returning home and netting the following day for Andorra’s Under-21 team. Iker Alvarez, the custodian for Villarreal B, has shown a lot of promise and should stay in goal.
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