Portugal inflict another away defeat on the Swiss
Having been denied an additional point by that late Belgium leveller two and a half months earlier, Portugal again set their sights on the velvet Lisbon sky. This was to be their third home performance of the 1990 World Cup qualifiers and, indeed, the third straight Portugal fixture of Group 7. After the Red Devils’ draw in Lisbon in February, the Belgians seemed to be in the driver’s seat, having come away from possibly their two hardest away fixtures with a point in each: 0-0 in Czechoslovakia preceeded the draw in Estádio da Luz. Thus, a home tie with Switzerland was billed as a ‘must win’ fixture for the Portuguese. The Swiss had so far won in Luxembourg and lost in Belgium, and their two points were what had been expected from their opening two matches.
Portugal team news
Juca had to make do without Paulo Futre, who had not played for Atlético Madrid since the start of the month. Other than him, defensive midfielder José Semedo was out of the squad since the draw with the Belgians. In a 6-0 friendly win versus their former colony Angola, the Portuguese manager had tried out a few new players, but neither Porto forward Rui Águas, Benfica left back António Fonseca nor his club colleague António Pacheco, a left sided midfielder, were invited back into the squad for this qualification battle. Juca did, however, include big centre back Frederico (Rosa). The experienced Boavista defender would come to start the game on behalf of Marítimo’s António Oliveira, who had featured against Belgium. Stylish Sporting Lisbon defender Morato was left out again. With (Luís) Sobrinho set to start his third successive qualifier, Juca’s trust in the Belenenses centre half seemed solid.
Switzerland team news
Daniel Jeandupeux, the Swiss coach, had overseen an impressive 3-1 win against Egypt, the 1986 winners of the African Cup of Nations, in Cairo in December, two months after their previous qualification outing: that 1-0 defeat in Brussels. However, and alarmingly, they had lost 3-0 to Hungary in Budapest only three weeks before the journey to Lisbon, so there were question marks about their current capacity.
The headline before this encounter was the absence of Saint-Étienne sweeper Alain Geiger. He was included in the original squad departing from Switzerland, but had to pull out. He had been struggling lately with his left foot. This meant another international call-up for Grasshoppers’ Marcel Koller, who would partner Martin Weber at the heart of the Swiss defence as libero (the regular position for his club team). In their recent defeat in Budapest, Koller had oddly been playing as a wide right midfielder. Roger Wehrli evidently thought he deserved a place in the squad, for when he was omitted, he promptly retired from further international football under Jeandupeux. This implied that when Geiger had to withdraw, Jeandupeux couldn’t rely on the services of Werhli, instead calling up Mario Andermatt.
Neuchâtel Xamax’ Joël Corminbœuf had kept goal in both of the Swiss’ opening two ties, but he had been replaced by Grasshoppers’ Martin Brunner before the pre-Christmas trip to Eastern North Africa. Servette left back Marco Schällibaum was another absentee from their previous qualification outing in Belgium in October, now replaced by Urs Birrer, who had been in the frame for a while.
The Swiss would have a central midfield three, where team captain Heinz Hermann, the Xamax player, was the obvious dominant figure: a Swiss talisman. He had made his international debut as far back as in September ’78, when Switzerland had defeated USA by two goals to nil in a friendly in Lucerne. Hermann started out with Grasshoppers of Zurich, won the domestic championship four times with them, before he made the switch over to Neuchâtel Xamax in 1985 and would win another two titles there, in ’87 and ’88. He had by the end of the 1987/88 season won the Swiss ‘Player of the Year’ title an incredible five times in succession, and was without a shadow of a doubt his country’s leading footballer. During the 80s, Switzerland had hardly been among the continental elite, but one could safely say that Heinz Hermann was something of a Swiss superstar: some would go so far as to say he was a Swiss world class talent in his era. When Hermann took to the pitch in Lisbon, it was his 93rd cap. The second most capped visitor on this evening was Beat ‘Bitsch’ Sutter, whose 36 caps paled in comparison to the tally of Hermann.
Thomas Bickel (Grasshopper) had originally been called up to the squad to face Portugal, but yet again had to withdraw because of an injury. Perret was his replacement.
Referee for the occasion was 45 year old Englishman Allan Gunn, who was by no means an experienced referee at international level. This was in fact his first ever qualification tie, and his only international before this one in Lisbon had come in Israel 15 months earlier, when he had been the man in the middle during Israel’s 1-1 friendly with France. Mr Gunn would have the experienced, albeit not at this level, Ray Lewis as one of his linesmen. Lewis had been in charge of the tragic FA Cup semi-final in England between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest only 11 days earlier. This match had barely kicked off before it had to be abandoned due to the tragedy which was unfolding in the Lepping’s Lane Stand behind one of the goals at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium, the neutral venue for this FA Cup fixture. 95 people perished on the day, and later another victim would be claimed. Allan Gunn’s second assistant was Ken Dunn, a referee at Non-League level in England, and a linesman in the Football League. The English FA had wanted to reward Mr Dunn for his seasons of service in the lower tiers of the English game by selecting him for this World Cup qualifier. It will have been a great honour for Ken Dunn of Warwickshire, no doubt.
Switzerland had historically done very well against the Portuguese: in 15 earlier encounters, the Swiss had won eight, with four draws, and only three wins for Portugal. They had also met in the qualifiers for the 1988 European Championships in West Germany, with both matches finishing in draws.
|2 João Pinto (c)||27||Porto|
|3 Frederico||sub 88′||32||Boavista|
|7 Vítor Paneira||23||Benfica|
|8 Rui Barros||23||Juventus|
|9 César Brito||24||Portimonense|
|10 António Sousa||sub h-t||31||Porto|
|11 António André||31||Porto|
|12 Neno||27||Vitória Guimarães|
|13 António Oliveira||on 88′||30||Marítimo|
|14 Jaime Alves||26||Boavista|
|15 Domingo Paciência||20||Porto|
|16 Jorge Silva||on h-t||30||Marítimo|
|1 Martin Brunner||26||Grasshoppers|
|2 Patrice Mottiez||26||Neuchâtel Xamax|
|3 Urs Birrer||sub 73′||27||Luzern|
|4 Martin Weber||31||Young Boys|
|5 Marcel Koller||28||Grasshoppers|
|6 Stefan Marini||23||Luzern|
|7 Beat Sutter||26||Neuchâtel Xamax|
|8 Heinz Hermann (c)||31||Neuchâtel Xamax|
|9 Dario Zuffi||24||Young Boys|
|10 Lucien Favre||31||Servette|
|11 Alain Sutter||sub 56′||21||Grasshoppers|
|12 Claude Ryf||on 73′||32||Neuchâtel Xamax|
|14 Martin Andermatt||27||Grasshoppers|
|15 Philippe Perret||27||Neuchâtel Xamax|
|16 Kubilay Türkyılmaz||on 56′||22||Bellinzona|
|20 Stephan Lehmann||25||Sion|
Switzerland’s 4-3-3 seemed to heel over towards the left hand side due to the number of predominantly left-footed players: Favre, Hermann and A Sutter all favoured their left foot. This resulted in a lack of passes out towards the right hand side, something which seemed to upset B Sutter, originally positioned on the right wing, so much that he would wander across to interact with namesake A Sutter on the left. It was from this position that B Sutter on a couple of occasions would release right back Mottiez to gallop down the right hand side. With so much of the visitors’ play happening down the left hand side, it appeared to be something of a surprise to Portugal when Switzerland decided to attack down the opposite flank, resulting in Mottiez contributing well, albeit no clear cut chances were created. At the back, the Swiss had Weber as the right central defender, Koller as the left. Marini performed in a defensive midfield role, with an eye on Portugal’s deep-lying forward Rui Barros. César Brito would early on in the first half often seek towards the left hand side of attack, stretching the visitors’ central defensive pairing, as Weber would give chase after him, and when Brito later decided to try and see how far wide he could pull Koller in the other direction, it was obvious that the Portuguese number 9 thrived in the channels.
In the home side’s midfield, Paneira was again operating on the right hand side, whereas Nunes, the holding man, would be the team mate to lend him support should he need it. Sousa and André were both more or less focused towards the left hand side, with the previous occupying a more central role than his compatriot. Veloso at left back was no stranger to crossing the halfway line, and probably even more so than right back João Pinto opposite. Rui Barros’ role was more or less as the second striker, playing slightly deeper than César Brito, but often towards the right hand side where he would interact with Paneira. The two seemed to have a fine understanding between themselves. The best opportunity of the opening half came from the foot of Barros, as he got in behind the Swiss defence, only to wastefully shoot wide when he ought to have done better.
This is how the home side would re-appear after the interval. They had made one change: forward Jorge Silva had come on to replace midfielder António Sousa. This also resultet in a formation switch: from 4-4-2 in the opening half, they now went 4-3-3/4-5-1. César Brito had been brought out wide, and although his role was very much a forward-thinking one, he was also seen helping out defensively when needed. António André, who had held the wide left berth in the opening half, had been brought into a slightly more central role, just to the left of anchor man Nunes. Rui Barros had been pulled slightly back from his more or less forward position during the opening 45 minutes, so he would now be operating in a deeper role. Still, he was being looked after by Swiss midfielder Marini. Paneira kept his place wide to the right, but he was never glued to that position, and would also come inside and instigate attacks from more central areas. Paneira was at his best when he could drive forward with the ball at his feet, and he would indeed have a big say in the outcome, as he scored one and laid on the other two. Him and Barros would often see fruitful combinations down the right, where they would also be assisted by full-back and captain João Pinto. André was of a lot more defensive nature in his central role than Barros was in his, and so the Portuguese forward play during the second half was more often concentrated along the right hand side of the pitch. At the back, Sobrinho was the right-sided of the two central defenders, with second goalscorer Frederico to his left. Frederico would indeed be substituted with only a few minutes remaining, possibly due to aggravating a hamstring injury, as he did not seem troubled when walking off. Originally, Juca had intended to bring on Boavista full-back Jaime Alves as his second sub, as he was even seen giving instructions on the touchline to the right-sided defender before the decision was made to bring on António Oliveira for Frederico instead.
The Swiss had reappeared after the break with the same XI, but they would lose left-sided winger A Sutter through injury around the time of the second Portuguese goal. He would be replaced by young forward Kubilay Türkyılmaz. The Bellinzona striker had already opened his qualification goal account prior to this match (after scoring in the 4-1 win at Luxembourg). He would be put in the wide left position vacanted through Sutter’s injury. The first half had shown B Sutter coming across to the left from his original position down the opposite flank, and this would again be seen on a couple of occasions during the final 45 minutes. Even if B Sutter had come across in the first half, A Sutter had remained in his original left-wing role, but here in the second half Türkyılmaz would switch positions with B Sutter, thus appearing on the right hand side, albeit only for brief moments. In central midfield they were more or less a man short, as Marini was still glued to Barros, leaving a lot of additional work for Favre and Hermann. Mottiez would continue joining in attack from his right-back position throughout, whereas Birrer would stay positioned inside his own half. The left-back would struggle to cope with the assaults which came down his flank, as he had both Pinto, Barros and the excellent Paneira coming into his territory. On 73 minutes, Jeandupeux would take Birrer off and replace him with Ryf in a straight swap. By then, the Portuguese desire to attack had waned off somewhat.
There is little excuse for what the Lisbon crowd were exposed to during the first 45 minutes. Let’s be honest: It was about as dire as it gets at this level. Neither Portugal nor Switzerland were able to string a few passes together, let alone muster attempts at goal. Ok, if we are being kind: There was an exception for Rui Barros’ effort towards the end of the half, when António André had headed into his path a wind-assisted cross from Vítor Paneira. Only a few yards out and with Martin Brunner’s goal slightly to his right, the diminutive Juventus star scuffed his effort well wide. It really did sum the first half up: abysmal.
So what was the reason for this dreary 45 minutes of important World Cup qualifying football? Hardly the wind alone. Yes, the gales may have played their part, but then again the pace was so low throughout that it could hardly be the full explanation. We saw Juca apply his 4-4-2, with Rui Barros joining Portimonense forward César Brito up front, perhaps playing slightly off the centre forward, but not so deep that he would allow Switzerland’s man marker Stefan Marini to get a constant grip on him. Marini was sitting deep in the visitors’ midfield, probably with the instruction of trying to keep an eye on little Barros. That woefully sliced effort late in the half was just about all that Barros managed in an attacking capacity, which sums up the half quite well: Even a forward-thinking talent of his undoubted calibre was completely unable to put a spark into the tie. There were boos ringing around the rather sparsely populated Estádio da Luz as the English referee blew his whistle for half time.
The Portuguese appeared to be in a positive mood right before kick-off. They lined up for their team photo, looking confident and jolly. The front pair of Brito and Barros would kick the half off. At the back, Silvino kept his place despite the error that lead to the late Belgian leveller in their previous outing. He did not have a save to make during the first half, only once had to come into action when Veloso played a dangerous-looking back pass from inside the penalty area D. Beat Sutter was unable to capitalize, with the ‘keeper collecting the ball just ahead of the Swiss right flank’s feet. At right back, the Portuguese captain Pinto would deal with the rising star of Swiss football in Alain Sutter. This was one of only very few bright points of the first half, though even that battle never really got going. Sutter showed through negative body language earlydoors that he did not appreciate the Porto full-back’s physical approach, and he would often demonstrate this towards the referee whenever he had been tackled. Pinto played hard but appeared to always be fair. However, the Grasshoppers winger did wriggle himself free on a couple of occasions, only to have his crosses letting him down. There was not an awful lot to aim for, with typically only striker Dario Zuffi being positioned inside the home team’s penalty area.
On the opposite side there was another battle, though not as intense, as the other Sutter, Beat of Neuchâtel Xamax (no relation to Alain), was up against Benfica left back António Veloso. The latter kept control throughout on his side, eventually leading Beat Sutter to drift across even as far as to the left hand side, to try and support the other Sutter in the team. No matter what they tried, they did not succeed very well. Sobrinho and his central defender partner Frederico were both solid, and did not let Zuffi have a sniff at goal. There appeared to be some creativity in the Swiss central midfield, where Hermann and Lucien Favre would do their utmost to serve the three players higher up in the pitch, but to little avail. Both the skipper and Favre favoured their left foot, and perhaps there was a lack of balance in central areas because of this. If Marini had been a stronger presence right behind them, perhaps it would not have mattered so much. However, Marini seemed more preoccupied with keeping Rui Barros quiet. From the right back Patrice Mottiez would now and then venture forward and offer his support, though not to the extent that Veloso’s domain was ever really threatened.
Central midfield seemed an area where Portugal were stronger. (Adelino) Nunes was the most defensive minded of the hosts’ midfield four during the first half. He would often collect the ball from his defenders about halfway inside the Portuguese half, either transporting it across the halfway line or distributing it to António Sousa or the more lively Vítor Paneira. Sousa had a rather quiet half, with a few passes going astray, and his positional play did not contribute to much in an attacking sense for the home side. Sousa was often seen slightly towards the left hand side of the pitch, with the more defensively minded António André even further out wide than himself. If only Paneira opposite had had more support from either of his midfield colleagues. The only support offered to the Benfica winger was his captain Pinto, and though combined they did manage to cause a bit of stir to Swiss left back Urs Birrer, Vítor Paneira was suffering from poor movement among his team mates: He would not find a lot of red jerseys to aim his passes towards.
Of the two Swiss central defenders, Martin Weber would occasionally drop slightly deeper, leaving Marcel Koller in a tad more advanced role, though it would probably be uncorrect to call Weber sweeper or libero. One would also see him accompany the lone Portuguese forward César Brito when he came out wide; Brito would prefer to go wide left in search of space. Weber appeared to be the more right-orientated of the two, with Koller seen assisting left back Birrer on a few occasions. Martin Brunner, making his first goalkeeper appearance of the qualifiers, was never directly threatened, and will have been well pleased with his defenders’ display during the first half. One could only hope for a huge improvement in the final 45.
From the word ‘go’ after the break it was evident that the home team were out to impress. They had made a change at half time, with the tame Sousa being replaced by Marítimo forward Jorge Silva, who went up front in a lone striker role. This meant that Brito would switch out to the left hand side, while Rui Barros and Vítor Paneira would both take turns in bombing down the right. From an uninspired 4-4-2 in the first half, Juca now saw his team rejuvenated in a well-working and smooth 4-3-3. Paneira became more involved and saw a lot of the ball, not just out wide but also in a central position, and boy would he end up being total terror to the Swiss during the final 45. Only three minutes into the half he would advance past Koller’s tackle and feed his captain out wide with a short pass. Pinto aimed a cross towards the back post, but the wind saw it loop over Brunner’s head and into the far corner of the goal. In bizarre fashion the hosts had gone ahead.
There appeared to be so much more mobility with Sousa out of the team. Even António André looked lively after the break, where the left hand side saw a Portuguese combination of the brilliantly composed Veloso, said André and the spirited Brito. Switzerland seemed incapable of countering this quest from the home team, and Mottiez, who had looked solid enough in the first half, all of a sudden found himself in trouble after the break. However, there would be a lot more damage down the other flank, where Pinto, Paneira and Rui Barros would torture the hapless Birrer, who unfortunately had little aid from anyone else. Alain Sutter seemed to stretch ligaments in his left ankle when tussling with Pinto during the first few minutes of the half, and he would soon be replaced by young Bellinzona forward Kubilay Türkyılmaz. Not sooner had Türkyılmaz come on before the home side added a second: Paneira’s corner dropped onto the head of centre back Frederico, and when goalkeeper Brunner was stranded behind a contingent of players there was little he could do to prevent 2-0. The goalkeeper injured himself in the process (or perhaps was he just putting on a show so that his error in trying to come for the ball would be minimized?) and play was halted for nearly three minutes before resumed.
By now Birrer was having a horror show of a performance at left back. The Swiss left him exposed to a very direct threesome, so the fault was not entirely on the Neuchâtel Xamax full-back. Paneira again demonstrated why he is seen as one of European football’s hottest young talents, but in a fluke Switzerland would pull a goal back rather than the home side adding to their tally. Frederico stops Türkyılmaz illegally with an outstretched leg, and when Favre’s free-kick finds Beat Sutter’s head, Silvino can only parry the ball into the feet of Zuffi, who has an easy task of guiding it home. The visitors had perhaps been outplayed during the first opening 15 minutes the second half, but were suddenly handed a lifeline. It would not last long, however, as another counter attack shortly after the Swiss had threatened Portugal by getting within shooting distance of Silvino’s goal, yielded another goal for Portugal: 3-1 came from the excellent Paneira’s right foot, following Brito’s run and cross from the left. It was no less than the Portuguese deserved, and by now one would realize just how dizzy Urs Birrer had been made by the home side’s incessant attacking down his side: he simply gave the ball away and seemed reluctant to even try and work it back once he had lost possession. Shortly after, Jeandupeux took him off and replaced him with Claude Ryf. The latter would never be exposed like Birrer had been, but then again Portugal appeared to be content with what they had. They did no longer break forward with the same level of intent.
With Rui Barros and Vítor Paneira often switching positions, Stefan Marini appeared to have difficulties with whom he should be marking. He had always been close to Barros during the first half, but now he seemed confused. This only served to further expose the visitors, who clearly were not prepared for Juca’s tactical switch at half time. Also without Alain Sutter, the Swiss were a lot less of an attacking threat, even if substitute Türkyılmaz seemed inspired after coming on. Beat Sutter would continue to sometimes stay wide right, sometimes come left and join Türkyılmaz, while Zuffi did whatever he could in trying to keep Sobrinho and Frederico occupied. Towards the end of the game Juca seemed interested in bringing on full-back Jaime, though it appeared unclear whom he wanted him to replace. It could possibly have been Brito, who had done a lot of running in his wide role in the second half. However, Frederico soon pulled up with an injury, and this prompted the home manager to replace the centre back with António Oliveira for the final five or six minutes of the game. Jaime would have to take a seat again.
Five points from six was probably satisfactory for Juca. They could now look ahead to their first away fixture of the qualifiers when they would pay Belgium a visit in September; this would be a hugely important fixture for both. As for the Swiss, they seemed more or less down and out already, albeit their June home tie with Czechoslovakia left them with an opportunity to try and rescue what little was left of their qualification hopes.
Despite scoring three times in the second half, it had not been an optimal Portuguese performance. However, they had breached the visitors’ defence when they needed to, and they would be very pleased to have obtained five points from their opening three matches. Paneira had played a starring role during their goal haul, and for most of the game Portugal had looked relatively solid at the back. However, the somewhat unbalanced Swiss team had looked a bit out of sorts, and did not provide Portugal with the sternest test possible. It was by now very clear that Switzerland would be also-rans in this particular qualification group.
1 Silvino 6.8
bent on getting revenge from conceding late and unnecessarily against Belgium, and leaves a confident impression, particularly sound when coming for aerial balls: strong punches. Concedes a rebound for Zuffi’s goal, but he received preciously little help from his defence
2 João Pinto 7.3
control down his defensive flank, and contributed well going forward. A tad fortunate with his goal, but his play earned him that. Never shirked a tackle
3 Frederico 7.0
fine set-piece goal, and does well against Zuffi in open play. Seems to work well in tandem with Sobrinho. Possibly fortunate not to earn a yellow for bringing down Türkyılmaz for the free-kick that leads to the Swiss goal
(13 Oliveira –
sees the game out)
4 Sobrinho 6.8
not outstanding, but did his job in an unspectacular fashion. Solid in the air
5 Veloso 7.2
keeps a strong grip of his defensive side, not giving B Sutter much space in which to manoeuvre. Also provides a fine alternative for his team mates when trotting forward
6 Nunes 6.9
another decent performance at the back of the midfield, not allowing Hermann space, and continually seeking to break up the visitors’ play. A couple of stray passes
7 Vítor Paneira 7.7
oh-la-la! Fine performance by the virtuoso who has a hand in all three goals, as he scores one and assists for the other two. Also is an integral part of the coalition that works to break down the left side of the Swiss defence
8 Rui Barros 6.9
was followed more or less everywhere by Marini, but still found space to play a couple of telling passes. Won the corner that lead to 2-0
9 César Brito 7.0
seems to enjoy being out wide more than he does playing centre forward. Terrific work ahead of Paneira’s final nail in the Swiss coffin
10 António Sousa 6.3
withdrawn at half time after being unable to stamp his authority in midfield. Wasteful in possession, seemed quite static
(16 Jorge Silva 6.8
unselfish work down the middle in the second half, and brought other players into the action. Was the aim when Brito played it into the middle for Paneira’s goal)
11 António André 6.8
never spectacular, but did his job in a tidy manner. Interceptions and tackles are his game, and it does not bother him to leave creativity to others
1 Brunner 6.2
at fault for the home side’s first two goals: misjudges the flight of the ball for the wind-assisted 1-0, then is caught in no-man’s land when trying to come for Paneira’s corner for 2-0. Other than that no major faults
2 Mottiez 6.7
often seen going forward, and turned in a performance which he did not need to be ashamed of. However, often challenged for pace by Brito after the break, and struggled to keep the Portugal forward in tow
3 Birrer 5.7
once the home side had identified him as the weak link in the Swiss defence, he struggled to cope with the amount of quality players that came attacking down his territory. Also could have received more help from his team mates, as he was left dreadfully exposed at times
(12 Ryf –
willing to make attacking contributions, and as Portugal seemed content at 3-1 was rarely challenged by two or three players like Birrer had been)
4 Weber 6.7
probably just edged his central defensive partner, predominantly based on a fine first half performance in which he followed Brito well
5 Koller 6.6
won a couple of headers, but was never the dominant figure needed at the back in Geiger’s absence
6 Marini 6.5
dutifully goes about his task of shadowing Rui Barros, but at the same time almost deletes himself as a thinking individual. Is the cause for Nunes’ yellow card as he is the one that the Portuguese holding midfielder brings down
7 B Sutter 6.7
a bit hidden away on the right hand side, so he often took matters into own hands and came across to the opposite flank, where he realized play was ocurring with greater frequency. Fine header from the set-piece that brought Zuffi’s goal, and never gave up trying
8 Hermann 6.3
not one of his best performances: seems slightly unfit, has a limited territory inside which he moves, and can not produce any of his telling passes
9 Zuffi 6.7
gets a poacher’s goal when he reduces the deficit, and works tirelessly, but often comes short against the tall Portuguese central defenders
10 Favre 6.6
it was not the Swiss midfielders’ day. Favre seemed to be the creative spark early on, but drifted out of the game as the home side gained control in midfield, and it was difficult to get going against solid performers like Nunes and André after the break
11 A Sutter 6.8
went off early second half with an injury. Took a good few knocks, and seemed to lose his appetite. However, when he was switched on, he was a match for Pinto. Lacked a bit of end product from his neat skills
(16 Türkyılmaz 6.8
showed his willingness after coming on, although he enjoyed little in way of personal success against Pinto. Had a couple of ‘forward’s tackles’ against Paneira. Sought more central areas at the death, though without much luck)