Portugal v Switzerland: Women’s Euro 2022 Group C – live! | Women’s Euro 2022


Key events:

53 min: The Swiss show that while Portugal are in control of possession, they’re still a threat on the break as Bachman is sent scampering through on the inside-left channel. She drags a low shot a yard wide when she probably could have squared to Sow.

52 min: Carole Costa lofts a long ball into the inside-left channel for Jessica Silva. The forward brings the ball down deftly with two touches and then unleashes a right-footed shot at the top corner. It’s well over though. She rather rushed it after some good work initially.

51 min: Borges plays it low and to the near post. It looks like a dreadful corner but I suspect it’s a training ground move that her teammates didn’t react to.

49 min: Norton plays a lovely pass through two Swiss players to release Borges on the left. She is tracked diligently by Maritz and forced backwards but Portugal work the ball cleverly up the right and win a corner.

47 min: Maendly is down after being caught between two Portugal players when a ball popped loose in midfield. She’s soon up on her feet though. It seems she took a blow to the face.

The second half

45 min: Peep! There are no changes – and the Portugal Drumming Man is still at it.

The Guardian’s reporter in Leigh believes organisers could be doing a little more for the environment.

Obviously, the floodlights are on. Do Leigh not know the cost of energy nowadays?

— Will Unwin (@Will_Unwin) July 9, 2022

Half-time reading to get you in the mood for Netherlands v Sweden later.

Half-time: Portugal 0-2 Switzerland

Well, after the two goals not much has happened. Switzerland haven’t had to be gung-ho so have sat back and watched Portugal struggle to break them down. The Portuguese have been neat and tidy but they haven’t found a final ball and look small compared to the physically imposing Swiss team. Francisco Neto has some thinking to do at half-time. Will he bring the electric youngster Francisca Nazareth on? She could be a gamechanger.

44 min: Diana Silva tries to chest down to Jessica Silva to her right but they’re not on the same wavelength and the ball rolls out for a throw-in.

42 min: Borges almost presses Thalmann into an error after a slow backpass and then Norton fires a speculative effort over from 25 yards. It’s still all Portugal.

40 min: The drumming man is still at it. Portugal have the upped the tempo somewhat in response. They win a corner that Borges drives to the near post, where Diana Silva improvises in the Zlatan style, backheeling narrowly over. That was a lovely attempt. Portugal are getting closer.

38 min: Kari Tunlinius has an answer for Laura Rutishauser: “Berglind Björg Þorvaldsdóttir, of Iceland, is the sister of Gunnar Heiðar Þorvaldsson, who represented the Icelandic men’s national football team. For added family-based Icelandic squad trivia, Amanda Andradóttir, is the daughter of Andri Sigþórsson, who represented Iceland, and so did his brother Kolbeinn, who scored that goal against England in 2016.” But are any of them members of Sigur Ros, Kari?

35 min: Portugal are probably enjoying the greater possession now but whenever they get into the final third the Swiss defence switch on and hunt them down like Terminators. They do win a a corner, which is played out to Dolores Silva at the edge of the box. She’s caught in two minds, though, and volleys over when it looked like she was about to take a touch.

33 min: Borges, who has been on the end of some nasty fouls herself, tries to nick possession off Calligaris as she strides out of the penalty area, only to clatter into her. She’s lucky to escape yellow there too.

31 min: More trivia.

29 min: Aigbogun, who is already on a yellow, is lucky to still be on the pitch. She lunges in on Borges and misses the ball and leaves her opponent nursing a sore shin. The referee has shown incredible leniency.

28 min: Portugal are still struggling to make a noise on the pitch but their fans are certainly making loads of it off it. The man with the drum is making the Leigh Sports Village shake.

26 min: Portugal spurn a good chance to cause the Swiss some trouble on the counter-attack. Reuteler was caught in possession by Amado, who feeds Borges. She races down the right wing and checks back, but her simple ball inside towards Jessica Silva is misplaced.

23 min: Switzerland win a free-kick on the right. Bachmann lofts it in and, as with the second goal, Portugal struggle to clear it, allowing the ball to drop in the area. Borges blocks an effort from Sow, I think, and after some scuffed attempts, Portugal clear and break through Dolores Silva, who is fouled.

20 min: A moment later Jessica Silva has a half-chance on the right hand side of the penalty area but chooses to try to cut back inside instead of shoot. Kiwic watches her carefully and nicks the ball away impressively.

19 min: Aigbogun is booked for a late tackle after Jessica Silva zipped past her on the right with a jet-heeled burst.

17 min: Portugal have recovered their composure but their next task is to try and make some inroads into this compact Swiss formation. They call for a penalty after Borges goes down after a collision with Kiwic but it is more in hope than expectation.

15 min: Trivia time, with reader Laura Rutishauser: “Hi Gregg. Is there any other team at this Euros where one of the players (the scorer of the first goal Coumba Sow) has a sibling that also plays in the national football team? Her brother Djibril plays for the men’s football team. I have time to share this trivia given we are already two up, what a start! Hopp Schwiiz!”

14 min: The two early goals have done nothing to help the flow of the game really. Portugal look happy to hold on to possession in deep areas without taking risks, and the Swiss are content to sit back and admire their two-goal lead on the scoreboard.

11 min: Walti shows her class with a sweeping ball wide after stepping in to win back possession. A moment later, the scorer of Switzerland’s second goal, Kiwic, pings a lovely crossfield ball out to Crnogorčević, who is a constant outlet for the Swiss on the right.

9 min: Walti stops Pinto in her tracks when Portugal were trying to get forwards with a rare counter-attack. Portugal win the ball back though and enjoy a little bit of possession. They need it.

7 min: Portugal need to try and settle down and play a few passes to one another. They look overawed. As bad starts at tournaments go, it’s up there.

Goal! Portugal 0-2 Switzerland (Kiwic 5)

This is a dream start for the Swiss! Bachmann curls an inviting deep free-kick into the far post, where Kiwic leaps above Amado to head home. That was so simple but Portugal look paper thin at the back. The Swiss look so much more physical.

Rahel Kiwic makes it two!
Rahel Kiwic makes it two! Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

Goal! Portugal 0-1 Switzerland (Sow 2)

What a start for the Swiss! The ball breaks to Sow after a poor attempt to stop a cross from Portugal. The Swiss forward needs no invitation to unleash a drive into the far corner from the edge of the area that Pereira gets nowhere near.

Coumba Sow fires the Swiss into an early lead.
Coumba Sow fires the Swiss into an early lead. Photograph: Dave Thompson/AP

Kick-off!

1 min: Peep! We’re under way in Leigh. And I should add that Ana-Maria Crnogorčević of Switzerland earns her 136th cap for her nation – a new record. Quite the achievement.

There’s a reasonable crowd at Leigh but it’s certainly not full. The transport links aren’t great so that may be a factor. The Portugal and Switzerland fans who are there sing the anthems with plenty of gusto though –and then somebody starts banging a drum to give it a proper European feel.

The players are led out of the tunnel by their respective captains. Walti has her gameface on as she marches out with her Swiss team in tow. And Portugal’s Dolores Silva is completely in the zone as she stares ahead while marching out.

I think he’s a Portugal fan.

A Portugal fan
Self-printed or from a merch stand? Photograph: Jan Kruger/UEFA/Getty Images

Not long till kick off in Leigh. In case you missed it – Germany were red hot yesterday:

The teams are out warming up on the pitch in Leigh. They won’t need to warm up much. There’s not a cloud in the sky and it’s a perfect 20C.

Switzerland players limber up at Leigh Sports Village.
Switzerland players limber up at Leigh Sports Village. Photograph: Peter Powell/EPA

Our reporter at Leigh Sports Village, Will Unwin, has heard that Manchester City’s Ruben Dias will be in attendance to show his support for Portugal. He also points out that one stand will be unoccupied because it is not fully all-seater. Uefa doesn’t allow terracing at its tournaments. Seems a shame.

A few things to note from the lineups. Switzerland’s talismanic captain Lia Wälti will make her 100th appearance for her country – and she’s still only 29! And the exciting 19-year-old forward Kika Nazareth has been deemed only fit enough to start as a substitute for Portugal having only had one training session due to a minor injury.

Portugal will likely start in a 4-3-3 formation, with Switzerland playing in a more compact 4-4-1-1 with Coumba Sow playing behind Ramona Bachmann.

I hope the Swiss fans sing Bachmann’s name to the tune of this.

Team news

Here’s how the two teams will line up:

🇵🇹 𝗧𝗘𝗔𝗠 𝗡𝗘𝗪𝗦 🇨🇭

🤩 The line-ups are out! Who’ll make the difference today?#POR | #SUI | #WEURO2022

— UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 (@WEURO2022) July 9, 2022

Preamble

Afternoon! We saw plenty of goals in Group B yesterday – will Group C follow suit today? We kick off with the two less fancied sides. Portugal are only at the tournament because Russia – who they lost a playoff against – were thrown out after the invasion of Ukraine. Portugal’s coach, Francisco Neto, said he did not want it to be this way because it means people in Ukraine are suffering.

Ranked 30 in the world, they are a team on the rise and better than they were two years ago. They had some decent results in their three warm-up matches, beating Greece twice, 4-0 and 1-0 and then taking a very creditable 1-1 draw away from a friendly against Australia. Benfica forward Jessica Silva is their one to watch – she missed the Euros in 2017 through injury and will be desperate to make a mark at this tournament. She’s full of tricks and is at her peak now she is 27 years old.

Switzerland are ranked 20 in the world but not in the best form of late. They needed a penalty shootout win over Czech Republic to book their place here. “I don’t give a shit how we won, we are going to the Euros,” said captain Lia Walti afterwards. She’s the leader in this team and she’ll have to inspire some improved performances if they are to qualify. The Swiss haven’t won in their last five matches and in their last three they lost 4-0 to England, 7-0 to Germany and 1-0 to Italy.

My prediction: Portugal 3-1 Switzerland





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