France draw with Switzerland in Group G
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
France and Switzerland drew 0-0 in their first match of the World Cup in Group G, Tuesday.
The derby between neighbour nations was expected to be a close affair and as it turned out this was the case, as a good defensive team cancelled out the more talented attacking one.
An unusual statistic from the game is that Switzerland edged ball possession. French star players Zinedine Zidane, Patrick Viera and Thierry Henry looked slow and indecisive and failed to dictate the game.
In the first half the French had the better chances with Thierry Henry getting in good positions. But it was the Swiss who came closest to scoring after 25 minutes.
From a set-play, Alexander Frei chipped the ball towards goal; the ball missed everyone and hit Fabian Barthez's left post. Liliam Thuram was first to the rebound.
Switzerland, while playing a strong defensive game, had more chances to get the ball into Barthez's net in the second half. Daniel Gygax's downward header from five yards brought a brilliant leg save from the French keeper.
For the French the second half continued as the first: Zidane was not as influential as the French might have wished, Viera was not aggressive and Henry did not show the creative flair he had done during the season for his club side, Arsenal.
An 84th minute substitute Vikash Dhorasoo, 10 yards out to the left of Pascal Zuberbuehler's goal, had the best French chance in the match but his shot skewed wide.
Philippe Senderos, the 21-year-old Swiss central defender, was arguably the best player on the pitch for Switzerland coach Koebi Kuhn. However; moments from the final whistle the Swiss might have had another hero.
A free kick to the left of Barthez's penalty area was whipped across goal for Swiss runners. But Swiss's first man Alexander Frei in an attempt to score with his hand deflected the ball wide of them all. The score remained a draw.
Raymond Domenech's French team might be disappointed with the result but arguably it could have been worse.
|June 13, 2006|
|France||0–0||Switzerland||Gottlieb Daimler Stadion|
- 16 F Barthez
- 03 E Abidal 64'
- 05 W Gallas
- 15 L Thuram
- 19 W Sagnol 93'
- 10 Z Zidane 72'
- 06 C Makelele
- 04 P Vieira
- 22 F Ribery (Substituted: 69' L Saha )
- 11 S Wiltord (Substituted: 84' V Dhorasoo )
- 12 T Henry
- 01 P Zuberbuhler
- 03 L Magnin 42'
- 04 P Senderos
- 20 P Muller (Substituted: 74' J Djourou )
- 23 P Degen 56'
- 07 R Cabanas 72'
- 06 J Vogel
- 08 R Wicky (Substituted: 81' X Margairaz )
- 16 T Barnetta 45'
- 09 A Frei 93'
- 11 M Streller (Substituted: 57' D Gygax )
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