What is the lesson you learned today
European Championship qualification against Romania - The Swiss want to show that they have learned their lesson
A victory is actually a must in Romania today: But the footballers of the Swiss national team know how dangerous smaller opponents can be.
The warning is still present. The 1-1 draw against outsiders Croatia, it is deep in the minds of the Swiss national players. "Such a result can cost qualification," says Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic. Of course, the Swiss top scorer knows what she's talking about, after all, she's been around for a long time. Even when the team missed the 2019 World Cup, among other things, because they failed as a huge favorite in the last qualifying game against Poland. This bitter experience now helps to take all opponents equally seriously. Romania in the penultimate European Championship elimination game (4.30 p.m., SRF2).
Despite the slip in Croatia, the starting position is good, because a few days later the 2-1 in Thun followed against the Belgians, who had not lost points until then. The Swiss lead the table again with one point ahead of Belgium, or as Crnogorcevic says: "We are in pole position." At the end of the campaign, Nils Nielsen's team will be visiting their direct competitors - four points from the last two games will certainly be enough to play at the European Championship in England in 2022.
It is certainly not a disadvantage that the possible finalissima in Belgium will not take place until the beginning of December, so no one is even tempted to have their heads elsewhere than in Romania. Another lesson in the draw in Croatia was that the Swiss women let the tough pace throw them off their feet. "We now have the chance to show that we have learned our lesson," says Lia Wälti.
So the starting position is good, even if four defensive players - Rahel Kiwic, Viola Calligaris, Noëlle Maritz and Luana Bühler - were out and various legionnaires were only allowed to join the team late. Because the corona requirements of Switzerland state that business travelers from risk areas can stay here for a maximum of five days without having to be in quarantine. Because the team flew to Romania on Sunday, they were only allowed to come to Switzerland on Tuesday.
On Thursday they started training because they first had to wait for the result of the corona test. “That's enough,” says Crnogorcevic, the 30-year-old naturally needs less acclimatization. It is a little more complicated to integrate the new players. Instead of spending time in the lounge, everyone has to spend more time in their room. The seating arrangements are fixed when eating: "It is more difficult to find out more about them." Captain Wälti agrees: "That is why we have to use walks or the journey to training to approach the newcomers and make them feel good." After all, everyone is needed for the final steps to the European Championship finals.
It was actually foreseeable that the final for the direct European Championship qualification would take place on December 1st in Belgium. But because the three best runners-up in the group progress in addition to the nine group winners, it would even be possible that Switzerland could take the definitive step to England with a win against Romania today - currently it does not look like more than three at the end of the group stage Runner-up places may show less than five loss points. And even in the worst case, the Swiss chances would not be bad: The remaining six runners-up in the group have another chance at the EM 2022 through barrage. There the Swiss would be the clear favorites against almost all possible opponents. (fas)Ranking list (every 6 games): 1. Switzerland 16 points. 2nd Belgium 15th 3rd Romania 9th 4th Croatia 4th 5th Lithuania 0th
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