England send Swiss a timely reminder
Written By: Robert Halter
It was a year to the day that England opened up their UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with a 2-0 victory in Switzerland and the Three Lions looked to repeat the result back on home soil on 8th September 2015 at Wembley Stadium against the Swiss after topping Group E with a hundred percent unbeaten record to cement their place at the finals in France. In the opening minute, Fabian Delph pulled up with a calf strain and Ross Barkley was drafted in. On five minutes from a James Milner corner, a header by Gary Cahill was palmed away from Swiss shot stopper, Yann Sommer, who was under threat by England captain, Wayne Rooney. Just under the quarter of the hour mark, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain blazed over a volley, after a left wing delivery by Luke Shaw. Then on sixteen minutes, Shaw supplied Milner, whose pass put Rooney in the clear but his low strike went wide of the right post. Three minutes later, Rooney turned provider to set up Milner, whose snap shot was pushed away from the lower reaches of Sommer’s body. At the half hour point, brave goalkeeping by Joe Hart stopped Xherdian Shaqiri in his tracks, after a well weighted pass from Granit Xhaka, as the Swiss pressed for the first time. In the thirty eighth minute, a floating cross by Oxlade-Chamberlain was too far past the head of the advancing Rooney. The Swiss responded five minutes on as Josip Drmic dragged his shot wide with a clear sight of goal, after an incisive through ball by Shaqiri. On the fiftieth minute, Jonjo Shelvey set up Oxlade-Chamberlain, whose cut back from the right side line was met by a cushioned header from Rooney which Sommer caught from under the crossbar. Within four minutes, a crisp strike by Rooney rattled Sommer, who made an instinctive stop, after Milner had produced a neat touch. But in the fifty seventh minute, Hart had to make a close range save at his near post, to keep out Xhaka’s header from a Riccardo Rodriguez corner, before England brought on Harry Kane for Shelvey and soon a first Swiss change was made as Breel Embolo replaced Drmic. Finally the deadlock was broken on sixty seven minutes, after Rooney combined with Shaw, whose low cross fell to Kane and his left footed shot from the centre of the box found the bottom right corner with a measured finished. After the goal, England took off Nathaniel Clyne with John Stones appearing while the Swiss soon replaced Valentin Stocker with Haris Seferovic taking over, before making a final change with Steve von Bergen on for Valon Behrami. In the eighty first minute, Shakiri was unable to find the target with a low drive, after Swiss captain, Gokhan Inler had created space. But in the next two minutes, a rash challenge by Xhaka on Raheem Sterling resulted in Italian referee, Gianluca Rocchi awarding the Three Lions a spot kick and up stepped Rooney to the blast the penalty past the hand of Sommer into the roof of the net with a right footed shot which made him the country’s all time leading scorer with fifty goals in hundred and seven caps to surpass the record set by his fellow Manchester United legend, Sir Bobby Charlton as England again beat Switzerland by two goals to nil.