In the end they all stand together, in the center circle, arm in arm, coach Mauro Lustrinelli speaks to his team. There must also be a lot of praise in his speech. The Swiss U-21s have just beaten England, a favorite for the European title. “That was a great achievement,” says Lustrinelli afterwards in the SRF.
You almost had to get used to the fact that this performance would only be enough for a 0-0. It would have been a meager wage. But then in the 77th minute, Kastriot Imeri puts back on Dan Ndoye. The man from Lausanne actually doesn’t want to fire his shot like that. But because he slips away, he gives the ball a strange trajectory, he praises goalie Ramsdale. It is the first Swiss goal in a U-21 finals since Admir Mehmedi scored his team in the final in 2011.
And it is the gateway to victory, to a deserved victory. Switzerland has better chances because it believes in itself, realizes early on that England is not that unbeatable after all. This afternoon in Koper, Slovenia, the team shows that they don’t just talk wildly when they talk about team spirit and family, they bring these qualities to the field and show solidarity.
Zeqiri and the early chance to take the lead
Switzerland has a first chance after 15 minutes. Zeqiri appears in front of the gate, played by Toma. And forgives. This possibility arises more by chance, thanks to Godfrey’s catastrophic pass in Tomas Füssen. But the Swiss also work hard, they become dangerous from a distance or according to standards. Zeqiri still has a good second chance, after a cross from Muheim, he fails with his head.
There is also a little nervousness, but you don’t play every day against players with a market value in the tens of millions. The longer the game lasts, the more these young Swiss are inspired by that. Full-back Miro Muheim, for example, is growing by the minute, and Bastien Toma hits the post shortly after the break. And finally, 19-year-old Jankewitz becomes the best of his team. He, who usually plays for the Southampton juniors.
With his performance, Jankewitz is emblematic for the rest of the team, Mauro Lustrinelli set him up because of his robustness, so far he has only been part of the team. Now he is an important part of a golden prelude to these finals, which also speaks for Lustrinelli’s work. England were the big favorites of Group D. Later that evening, Portugal and Croatia duel in the second game.
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U21 European Championship Slovenia young Swiss triumph Englands millionaire team