European Championship - Group A
WalesWales1SwitzerlandSwitzerland1

Euro 2020: Kieffer Moore equalises for Wales against Switzerland in 1-1 Euro opener

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Sport Wales at the Baku Olympic Stadium
Uefa Euro 2020 on the BBC
Dates: 11 June-11 July. Venues: Amsterdam, Baku, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Glasgow, London, Munich, Rome, Seville, St Petersburg. Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC Radio 5 Live, iPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for more details

Wales fought back to draw with Switzerland in their opening game of Euro 2020, as Kieffer Moore marked his return to the starting line-up with what could prove to be a vital equaliser.

In only his third start in nine matches under interim manager Robert Page, the Cardiff City striker was close to giving Wales an early lead when his header was superbly tipped over by Yann Sommer.

Switzerland took control of the match from that point and, after squandering several chances, they eventually scored as the impressive Breel Embolo headed in from Xherdan Shaqiri's corner.

Wales were slow to improve from their sluggish start but, with 15 minutes left, Joe Morrell's delicately clipped cross found Moore, whose flicked header into the bottom corner sent the small but loud pocket of Wales fans in Baku wild.

Those supporters experienced contrasting emotions 10 minutes later as Swiss substitute Mario Gravanovic scored moments after coming on - but a VAR check disallowed his goal for offside.

Switzerland kept pressing for a winner deep into added time but were denied by a series of brilliant saves from Danny Ward.

Such was the intensity of the late Swiss pressure, a draw will have felt like a great relief for Wales, whose next game is against Turkey in Baku on Wednesday.

After Turkey were crushed 3-0 by Italy in Friday's tournament opener, Wales' second match in Baku could have a significant bearing on their hopes of reaching the knockout stages.

Group A table

Red Wall in Baku a few bricks short

Wales had waited 58 years for their moment in the sun at Euro 2016. Absent from major finals since the 1958 World Cup, they marked their return with a mesmerising run to the semi-finals.

It was a summer which changed Welsh football forever and, while eight members of that squad remain, the mission statement this time is to create their own history.

This was a very different scene to France. Whereas 24,000 Welsh fans packed into Stade de Bordeaux five years ago, in Baku the pandemic meant the Red Wall only travelled in hundreds rather than thousands.

They made themselves heard in a sparsely attended Baku Olympic Stadium, which was made to feel cavernous as locals failed to fill their allocation.

Page recalled Moore as he reverted to 4-2-3-1, having gone without a conventional centre-forward in a 3-4-3 formation in recent matches.

The decision almost had an instant impact as a fine Daniel James cross found Moore, whose header was brilliantly tipped over by Sommer.

That was as good as the first half got for Wales, who were outplayed by their well-structured and confident opponents. Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey were barely involved, while the defence struggled to contain Embolo.

But eventually Wales livened up, with Ben Davies and Ramsey going close before a short corner led to Morrell's excellent cross for Moore, whose header justified his selection.

Swiss shouldering great expectations

Switzerland have laboured under the burden of being the golden generation, with several members of this squad having won the 2009 Under-17 World Cup and finish as runners-up at the 2011 Under-21 European Championship - including Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka and Liverpool playmaker Shaqiri.

But despite qualifying for seven of the past eight senior finals - one as co-hosts of Euro 2008 - Switzerland had failed to go beyond the second round.

They were unfortunate not to be ahead by half-time, with Seferovic in particular wayward with his shooting. But strike partner Embolo was in better form, twisting and turning Wales centre-backs Chris Mepham and Joe Rodon.

The pacy Borussia Monchengladbach player broke free from both early in the second half before seeing his shot saved by Ward and, from the resultant corner, he headed in.

Embolo came close to adding a second after cutting inside from the left but the most painful of the near misses for Switzerland came in the closing stages, first with Gavranovic's disallowed goal and then the several shots saved by Ward.

What's next?

Both teams are back in Group A action on Wednesday, with Wales staying in Baku to take on Turkey (17:00 BST), while Switzerland travel to Rome to face Italy (20:00).

Player of the match

EmboloBreel Embolo

with an average of 7.96

Wales

  1. Squad number12Player nameWard
    Average rating

    7.43

  2. Squad number13Player nameMoore
    Average rating

    6.76

  3. Squad number20Player nameJames
    Average rating

    6.61

  4. Squad number4Player nameDavies
    Average rating

    5.53

  5. Squad number6Player nameRodon
    Average rating

    5.45

  6. Squad number10Player nameRamsey
    Average rating

    5.35

  7. Squad number19Player nameBrooks
    Average rating

    5.32

  8. Squad number14Player nameRoberts
    Average rating

    5.23

  9. Squad number7Player nameAllen
    Average rating

    5.20

  10. Squad number16Player nameMorrell
    Average rating

    5.07

  11. Squad number15Player nameAmpadu
    Average rating

    5.05

  12. Squad number22Player nameMepham
    Average rating

    5.05

  13. Squad number11Player nameBale
    Average rating

    4.83

Switzerland

  1. Squad number7Player nameEmbolo
    Average rating

    7.96

  2. Squad number23Player nameShaqiri
    Average rating

    7.13

  3. Squad number1Player nameSommer
    Average rating

    6.81

  4. Squad number2Player nameMbabu
    Average rating

    6.65

  5. Squad number19Player nameGavranovic
    Average rating

    6.28

  6. Squad number13Player nameRodríguez
    Average rating

    6.27

  7. Squad number5Player nameAkanji
    Average rating

    6.23

  8. Squad number9Player nameSeferovic
    Average rating

    6.12

  9. Squad number4Player nameElvedi
    Average rating

    6.10

  10. Squad number22Player nameSchär
    Average rating

    6.01

  11. Squad number8Player nameFreuler
    Average rating

    5.95

  12. Squad number6Player nameZakaria
    Average rating

    5.93

  13. Squad number10Player nameXhaka
    Average rating

    5.89

Line-ups

Wales

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 12Ward
  • 14Roberts
  • 22Mepham
  • 6Rodon
  • 4Davies
  • 7Allen
  • 11Bale
  • 16Morrell
  • 10RamseySubstituted forAmpaduat 90+3'minutes
  • 20JamesSubstituted forBrooksat 75'minutes
  • 13MooreBooked at 47mins

Substitutes

  • 1Hennessey
  • 2Gunter
  • 3N Williams
  • 5Lockyer
  • 8Wilson
  • 9Roberts
  • 15Ampadu
  • 17Norrington-Davies
  • 18Williams
  • 19Brooks
  • 21Davies
  • 23Levitt

Switzerland

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 1Sommer
  • 4Elvedi
  • 22SchärBooked at 30mins
  • 5Akanji
  • 2MbabuBooked at 63mins
  • 8Freuler
  • 10Xhaka
  • 13Rodríguez
  • 23ShaqiriSubstituted forZakariaat 66'minutes
  • 9SeferovicSubstituted forGavranovicat 84'minutes
  • 7Embolo

Substitutes

  • 3Widmer
  • 6Zakaria
  • 11Vargas
  • 12Mvogo
  • 14Zuber
  • 15Sow
  • 16Fassnacht
  • 17Benito
  • 18Mehmedi
  • 19Gavranovic
  • 21Omlin
  • 25Cömert
Referee:
Clément Turpin
Attendance:
8,782

Match Stats

Home TeamWalesAway TeamSwitzerland
Possession
Home36%
Away64%
Shots
Home9
Away18
Shots on Target
Home2
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away12
Fouls
Home6
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Wales 1, Switzerland 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Wales 1, Switzerland 1.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Switzerland. Conceded by Chris Mepham.

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, Wales. Ethan Ampadu replaces Aaron Ramsey.

  5. Post update

    Offside, Switzerland. Kevin Mbabu tries a through ball, but Mario Gavranovic is caught offside.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Switzerland. Conceded by David Brooks.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Switzerland. Conceded by Danny Ward.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Breel Embolo (Switzerland) header from very close range is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Ricardo Rodríguez with a cross.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Switzerland. Conceded by Ben Davies.

  10. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Gareth Bale (Wales) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey.

  11. Post update

    Offside, Switzerland. Fabian Schär tries a through ball, but Mario Gavranovic is caught offside.

  12. Post update

    VAR Decision: No Goal Wales 1-1 Switzerland.

  13. Post update

    Offside, Switzerland. Breel Embolo tries a through ball, but Mario Gavranovic is caught offside.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Switzerland. Mario Gavranovic replaces Haris Seferovic.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Denis Zakaria (Switzerland).

  16. Post update

    Ben Davies (Wales) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Joe Morrell (Wales) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Denis Zakaria (Switzerland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Haris Seferovic.

  19. Post update

    Breel Embolo (Switzerland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Gareth Bale (Wales).

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As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Italy11003033
2Wales10101101
3Switzerland10101101
4Turkey100103-30

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium11003033
2Finland11001013
3Denmark100101-10
4Football Union of Russia100103-30

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Austria00000000
2Netherlands00000000
3North Macedonia00000000
4Ukraine00000000

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Croatia00000000
2Czech Rep00000000
3England00000000
4Scotland00000000

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Poland00000000
2Slovakia00000000
3Spain00000000
4Sweden00000000

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France00000000
2Germany00000000
3Hungary00000000
4Portugal00000000
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