*** ----> Shaqiri stunner moves Swiss to verge of Euro last 16 after Scotland draw | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Shaqiri stunner moves Swiss to verge of Euro last 16 after Scotland draw

AFP | Cologne

The Daily Tribune - www.newsofbahrain.com

Switzerland moved within touching distance of a place in the last 16 at Euro 2024 as Xherdan Shaqiri’s stunning strike earned a 1-1 draw against Scotland.

Murat Yakin’s side trailed to an early Scott McTominay goal that took a hefty deflection off Swiss defender Fabian Schar. But Shaqiri produced one of the goals of the tournament so far as the former Liverpool forward punished Anthony Ralston’s woeful backpass with a brilliant curler from 20 yards.

With honours even in Cologne, the Swiss sit in second place in Group A with four points, two behind Germany after the hosts beat Hungary 2-0 earlier on Wednesday. Switzerland, who defeated Hungary 3-1 in their opener, are not mathematically certain to advance to the knockout stages but they are in a strong position heading into their last game against Germany.

“Shaqiri proved tonight that he lives and breathes for moments like that,” Yakin said. “He really deserves that magical moment. He did the only thing he could do with that wonderful strike. “It’s still very open. We will do everything we can to make it out of the group.”

With the best four third-placed teams qualifying for the last 16, Scotland remains in the hunt to reach the knockout rounds of a major tournament for the first time. Steve Clarke’s team restored their pride with a battling display that erased the bitter taste of a wretched 5-1 loss to Germany in the tournament opener.

Scotland has only one victory in their last 11 games, but a historic last 16 berth is still a possibility if they can improve their goal difference with a big win against Hungary. “It was a good reaction to a disappointing night against Germany,” Clarke said. “Heart-breaking moment for Ralston but if it falls to any other Swiss player I don’t think they score.