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Euro 2024: Yakin vindicated as Embolo stars in Switzerland victory

Switzerland joined Germany on three points in Group A with a 3-1 win over Hungary

Breel Embolo

Switzerland boss Murat Yakin felt Breel Embolo’s late goal in the 3-1 defeat of Hungary this afternoon vindicated his decision to take a gamble in selecting the striker in his Euro 2024 squad.

Embolo suffered an injury-plagued season with Monaco, suffering a tear of his cruciate ligament and then, having returned, sustaining a hamstring problem that threatened his participation in Germany.

Yakin felt it was a risk worth taking and the early evidence showed he could well be right with Embolo coming off the bench to secure a deserved three points for the Swiss with a clever lobbed finish in injury-time.

Yakin said: “We knew we made the right decision to bring him. We knew he wasn’t available for the last two weeks [of the season] but the decision to call him up was right. 

“He makes us very calm in holding the ball up.”

Switzerland led 2-0 at the break thanks to goals from Kwadwo Duah and Michel Aebischer. Barnabus Varga pulled one back midway through the second half before Embolo settled the game.

The Swiss next take on Germany, who thrashed Scotland 5-1 last night.

Yakin added: “It’s not easy to play against Germany. Next Wednesday is a completely different game. It’s important we won our first game but I wasn’t so happy with our second half, so we have to play better next week.”

Hungary boss Marco Rossi was frustrated at the way his side started and finished the game.

He said: “The first half was very bad, apart from the first seven-eight minutes. We were too passive. Against these teams at this level, it becomes very difficult. I am not looking to point fingers. I am the coach, so I take responsibility.

“Switzerland are a very experienced side with quality players all over the pitch and very physical attributes. When the game went 2-1, we were pressing hard and were close to scoring another.

“But they used their experience, they slowed down the play.

“It’s a big frustration for me that we conceded a goal at the end of the game in that way.”

Hungary had come in as one the tournament’s dark horses and Rossi was disappointed that individual errors had hindered their prospects.

He added: “It’s hard to correct the kind of mistakes that we made. Our players do not make mistakes like this every day. 

“Mistakes are part of the game and the best players commit the least mistakes but even this can happen to them.  

“There aren’t many strategies to stop individual mistakes. It isn’t down to tactics, but we did struggle to communicate between us because of the way their forwards were playing. We fixed this at half-time, but by then we were 2-0 down.”

Picture of Jon Fisher

Jon Fisher

Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.