Switzerland – Portugal: Visitors come from behind to snatch vital win
Ref.: Mr Giorgos Koukoulakis
L 1: Nikos Mikakis
L 2: Theodoros Kefalas
Written by: kaltz
Switzerland team news
For Switzerland, recently appointed manager Uli Stielike, a World Cup finalist with West Germany in 1982, was having his first qualifying match in charge, and it did seem fitting that the former Neuchâtel player would lead his new team out in Xamax’ stadium. The inaugural match under Stielike’s sole leadership had seen the Swiss gain a famous friendly win against Brazil in June, although they had been under the cosh for larger spells of that game, and their goal had come through a highly dubious penalty. It was, however, against a decent Brazil select, so it had been no ill feat. It looked like Switzerland would not continue in the much maligned 4-3-3 formation that Jeandupeux had often utilized. Stielike had lined his players up in an innovative 3-4-3 against Brazil, and he wasn’t expected to tweak much, though this time having both the experienced Hermann and midfield protégé Favre available for selection; both had missed the Brazil match. It had been experienced libero Geiger playing in central midfield alongside the still promising A Sutter against the Latin Americans. With Hermann available, it was a foregone conclusion that the 80s Swiss footballing icon would be selected in the starting line-up. However, there had been times when the presence of both Hermann and Favre in the same midfield had not made a favourable impression. Switzerland only had an extremely vague chance for qualification still, and could start looking ahead towards the next tournament preparations already.
Mr Stielike had kept faith in some of the players from the Jeandupeux era: Goalkeeper Brunner was by now regarded as the country’s top ‘keeper ahead of Corminbœuf, and he would keep his position. Central defenders Geiger and Weber were also given starters, but both full-backs were of less proven quantity: Rey at right back would indeed be making his debut, whereas Baumann opposite had had his first taste of international football in their win against Brazil three months earlier. Rey had not been included in Jeandupeux’s squad for this fixture, but came into the picture due to an injury to Marini. He would take the right back position here, but was recently playing in central defence for his club Sion.
Marcel Koller was supposed to have started the game, and most likely in midfield, but he had to withdraw due to a case of renal colic, kidney pain, on the day of the game. This gave Piffaretti his starting chance, and there had not been enough time to announce a replacement, so Switzerland had to make do with four players on the substitutes’ bench. This despite the fact that Koller’s poor condition had been known for days in advance, before finally pulling out on the match day itself.
Portugal team news
Visiting Portugal were still hoping to qualify for the World Cup, which would be their second successive participation and only their third in total. They had charmed an entire globe during the 1966 World Cup in England, where Eusebio had been their talisman. They had again won a lot of admirers for their fluency during the 1984 European Championships, but had had internal problems ahead of the ’86 tournament in Mexico, where they ultimately disappointed and exited at the group stage. Having completed three home matches at the start of their qualifying campaign this time around, they were now in the middle of a run of four straight away matches. Only two weeks earlier their hopes had taken a major blow when they had been overturned by 3-0 in Belgium, but what now was seen as their main rival in Czechoslovakia had also lost in Brussels, so a win on Swiss soil would very much bring Portugal back into the frame. Czechoslovakia had won in Switzerland during the summer, and manager Juca would only seek to replicate that as he brought his side to Neuchâtel in one of the French speaking regions of the country.
Portugal arrived in Switzerland on the back of a poor run of results, where they had been humiliated by Brazil during a 4-0 friendly defeat in Rio de Janeiro in June, as well as only drawing 0-0 at home to Romania in a late August friendly. Then followed the disastrous result in Brussels, and they could need a change in fortune from their forwards, as goalscoring seemed to be something of a Portuguese problem at this time. They had scored five times from their three home qualifying matches, but only Fernando Gomes’ match winning goal against the Luxembourg part timers had come from a striker. Five months earlier, Portugal had won 3-1 against the Swiss at home, with two of the goals coming from defenders, the third from rising midfield star Vítor Paneira.
Juca seemed to go with a 4-4-2, where Paneira would be seen down the left hand side, Magalhães on the right, trying to lend support for the front two of Futre and Juventus’ (attacking midfielder) Rui Barros. Nunes and André were at the heart of their midfield, while central defender Sobrinho, a starter in all of their four qualifiers so far, had been ousted for Pedro Venâncio. Alongside the latter was Frederico, one of the Portuguese goalscorers in the 3-1 home win against Switzerland. Captain João Pinto was an obvious choice by now at right back, and the elegant Veloso likewise opposite. Silvino kept his place between the sticks.
Did it seem odd to have Paneira on the left hand side? Perhaps. He had so far been playing either on the right wing or in central midfield. Perhaps Juca was trying to take advantage of the fact that the opposition had a debutant at right back.
8-4-4 read their head-to-head in favour of the Swiss prior to kick-off. It was perhaps something of a surprising record, and Portugal needed to do something about these statistics in order to still be in with a shout for qualification.
Referee was Giorgos Koukoulakis from Greece, featuring in only his second ever international, having previously overseen the Swiss’ 1988 European Championship qualification in Malta (1-1).
|1. Martin Brunner||26||Grasshoppers|
|2. François Rey||23||Sion|
|3. Herbert Baumann||25||Luzern|
|4. Martin Weber||56′||31||Young Boys|
|5. Alain Geiger||28||Saint-Étienne|
|6. Blaise Piffaretti||23||Sion|
|7. Beat Sutter||sub 69′||26||Neuchâtel Xamax|
|8. Heinz Hermann (c)||31||Neuchâtel Xamax|
|9. Kubilay Türkyılmaz||22||Servette|
|10. Lucien Favre||sub 78′||31||Servette|
|11. Stéphane Chapuisat||20||Lausanne|
|12 Dominique Herr||on 78′, 82′||23||Lausanne|
|13 Christian Colombo||21||Lugano|
|(14 Marcel Koller||withdrew due to illness on matchday||28||Grasshopper)|
|15 Dario Zuffi||on 69′||24||Young Boys|
|16 Stephan Lehmann||26||Sion|
|2. João Pinto (c)||27||Porto|
|7. Vítor Paneira||sub 89′||23||Benifca|
|8. Rui Barros||23||Juventus|
|9. Jaime Magalhães||sub 43′||27||Porto|
|10. Paulo Futre||23||Atlético Madrid|
|12 Neno||27||Vitória Guimarães|
|13 Sobrinho||on 89′||28||Racing Club de Paris|
|14 Carlos Xavier||27||Sporting Lisboa|
|15 Jorge Ferreira||23||Vitória Setúbal|
|16 Rui Águas||on 43′||29||Porto|
Probably lined up in a 4-3-3, but they kept switching between 4-3-3 and 4-4-2. Geiger was keeping depth as the libero behind Weber in the heart of the defence. There was a lot of defensive responsibility on these two, also because the Swiss played without a recognized defensive midfielder. Debutant right-back Rey and rookie Baumann opposite were both allowed to cross the halfway line to join in attack, and they did so when the opportunity arose. In midfield, Hermann was the central figure, and he would have Piffaretti to his right and Favre to his left. However, the skipper was also easily lead into a right-sided midfield position, switching positions with Piffaretti. As long as they were in a 4-3-3 shape, it was B Sutter who kept the extreme right, with Chapuisat down the other flank. Chapuisat was always the left-sided outlet, no matter what the formation. Türkyılmaz either the lone striker or accompanied by B Sutter, who seemed to have a left-sided preference once the home side were in 4-4-2.
4-4-2 with defined roles: Among the two centre-backs, Venâncio was to the right, Frederico to the left, neither being deeper than the other. The two full-backs would both venture across the halfway line. In central midfield, Nunes was operating to the right and slightly more withdrawn than André, whereas Vítor Paneira kept himself to the left for as long as he featured as a left winger. On the opposite side, Jaime Magalhães would occasionally drift inside, although he mainly tried to keep width on the right hand side. Among the two forwards, Futre started to the right of Rui Barros, but they would frequently swap positions between themselves, and there were also occasions when Rui Barros would try and contribute inside his own half when the Swiss were in possession of the ball.
Formations from the start of the second half:
Juca had made a tactical substitution towards the end of the first half, clearly not impressed with what he had seen. He chose to take Jaime Magalhães off and replace him with Rui Águas, something which also meant a change in formation from 4-4-2 to 4-3-3, a tactics which more seemed to suit the players available to Juca. Águas came on as centre forward, with Rui Barros pulling slightly wide to the right, although he was given freedom to roam, and the same could be said for Futre, who went out to the left hand side of the three forwards. Vítor Paneira had begun the match as a left-sided midfielder, but they were unable to bring their inspirational playmaker into the game, so after the substitution he was pulled over to the right hand side of three central midfielders, where Nunes operated as the anchor man, seeing André to his left.
Notice also the positioning among the Swiss players when at 4-4-2, with Chapuisat still out wide left, almost like a typical winger, whereas Piffaretti seemed to come inside and with captain Hermann pulling into a right-sided midfield role. These two would occasionally swap positions, but Hermann was more often operating to the right of Piffaretti than vice versa. Favre’s position remained unchanged. B Sutter in the 4-4-2 often had a tendency to come across to the left hand side of attack, whilst Türkyılmaz usually remained in the centre. However, as a left-footed player, he also would at times seek more towards the left hand side of centre. The Swiss probably seemed more at home in a 4-4-2 than in a 4-3-3.
After the Swiss’ second substitution:
Switzerland take off B Sutter for Zuffi. The former had taken a good few knocks during the game, and seemed knackered when hobbling off. Oddly, Stielike chose to put a striker on and not try and preserve their slender lead. There was little doubt they were 4-4-2 after the substitution. Hermann still more a right-sided midfielder than Piffaretti was. Zuffi to the right of the two centre-forwards. Then Portugal would score twice in quick succession, and midfielder Favre seemed to injure himself as he tried to clear the ball only to hit Águas and for the ball to end up in the back of the net for 1-2. On for him came another debutant in Herr, who came on at right back, pushing Rey into a right-sided midfield position, with Piffaretti taking over for Favre as the centre left midfielder, with Hermann to his right. In the final and frantic few minutes, Mr Stielike again tinkered as he went 3-4-3, this time with Rey (!) as the libero, with Herr to his right and Weber to his left. Organization at this point was more and more loose, so Weber was almost acting as a midfielder, now alongside Geiger, who had been pushed higher up in the pitch. Baumann was keeping width on the left just behind Chapuisat, Hermann was back into a wide right position, Piffaretti still in Favre’s old centre left role. This is how they would see the match out.
Portugal brought on big defender Luís Sobrinho for Vítor Paneira right before the end, to secure the 2-1 lead. He only got just about a minute on the pitch before the referee blew his whistle for full time.
Neuchâtel’s ground was draped in a fine atmosphere as the visitors prepared to kick the game off through Rui Barros and Jaime Magalhães. There was a sizeable away following, and the Portuguese fans seemed to occupy the entire terrace behind the goal which Silvino was keeping during the first half, and some were even scattered around in other sections. The Swiss needed nothing short of a win to take them within a point of the afternoon’s visitors. Portugal were seeking two points themselves in order to go level with Czechoslovakia in second place.
The opening sequences see the teams feeling each other out. The home side are trying to get the upper hand in midfield through letting Piffaretti come inside from what was thought to be a right-handed role, so he keeps the experienced heads of Hermann and Favre company. They might be good on the ball, these two, but they’re hardly famous for their speed at which they conduct their play, so they’re unable to put the visiting defence under any kind of threat early on. The first spur of life in the game comes through Futre, who is well renowned for running at pace with the ball at his feet. An error from Hermann in midfield sees him in with an opportunity, but the home side are able to recover through debutant right-back Rey. However, Futre appears to be in a good mood judging by his body language, and this should be a warning sign for the Swiss defence.
Mr Stielike has kept faith in 20 year old Lausanne wide man Chapuisat from the 1-0 win against Brazil during the summer. He keeps good width out on the left hand side throughout, and there will be plenty of interesting tussles with Portugal captain João Pinto at right-back. There is an early opportunity for the pair to come together as Switzerland libero Geiger knocks a long ball from inside his own half for Chapuisat to chase. As João Pinto has been caught slightly unaware, though, it is Frederico who has to do some recovery work in order to prevent Chapuisat to run through, but the centre half proceeds to bring the winger down. The infringement happens right outside the penalty area, but the referee takes no other action than awarding the home side a free-kick from a promising position. However, Favre’s ball into the box is wasted, and the visitors can clear.
When these two had met in Portugal, Benfica star Vítor Paneira had been very instrumental in the home side’s 3-1 win, having a hand in all three goals. Yet Mr Juca decided to put him in the left-sided midfield role for the opening half in Neuchâtel, with Jaime Magalhães, a somewhat different kind of wide man compared to Paneira, playing wide right. There had seemed to be perfect balance whenever Vítor Paneira was appearing in his right-sided role, when he would also at times appear in the centre in order to conduct play. So why would the manager opt away something that had worked well? It appeared that the defeat in Belgium two weeks earlier had left him unsure. A win in Switzerland was so vital to Portugal he would sacrifice talent on behalf of workrate. After all, no matches in international football are easy. Vítor Paneira was, unfortunately for Portugal, a peripheral figure for the entire first half. He was up against a debutant full-back in Rey, but could not take advantage. Neither could Magalhães down the opposite flank. Switzerland had exposed their left side of defence dreadfully during the friendly win against Brazil. Here, Baumann appeared to be a lot more cautious in his attacking contributions, predominantly focusing on defensive duties. Portugal’s main source of creativity had to come from the centre of the pitch, but neither Nunes nor André were famous for deft passes to their forwards. So Rui Barros and Futre had to do most of the art work themselves.
The first half contains one booking: Nunes goes in unnecessarily hard on B Sutter, who’s come into midfield to make a forward run with the ball at his feet. The booking is well deserved.
Through their numerical advantage in midfield, Switzerland manage to stifle the Portuguese creativity. The opening 45 minutes are rather short in goalmouth action, which had also been the case in the opposite fixture back in April. For the home side, striker Türkyılmaz, who is usually operating up front on his own, does keep himself busy in trying to stretch the visiting defence. Portugal have decided to rest Luís Sobrinho after the defeat in Brussels, and Frederico is back in the team after having been dropped for the visit to Belgium. Sporting Lisbon centre-half Venâncio is making his second successive appearance. Despite Türkyılmaz’ efforts, though, the away side keep nullifying the threat from the Swiss. One could have been forgiven for thinking there’s a lack of balance in the heart of the Portuguese defence, as they operate with two right-footed centre-halfs, but it is hardly evident.
On the topic of balance: Switzerland had seemed less of that during their visit in Portugal. It had seemed a good decision to include a right-footed midfielder in Piffaretti to counter the left feet of Hermann and Favre. The demand for physicality in the centre of the pitch seemed less, as this was also not a particular feature of the Portuguese game. Yet there were a few feisty challenges, although most of them came along the deck and rarely in the air. Most of the beatings seemed to come B Sutter’s way. The forward player has a style of play that sees him come head to head with opponents on many an occasion, and his being brought down by Nunes for the referee to produce the first yellow card of the match was not the final tumble to the ground we’d see from the home side’s number 7.
If Vítor Paneira has been one of Portugal’s better performers so far in the qualification, then Rui Barros has perhaps been something of a disappointment. Juca seems to struggle to make best use of him, as he is not an out and out striker and clearly not someone to be a part of a midfield two. If given a roaming role just behind two strikers he could be devastating, and he had shown a lot of his talent after his transfer from Porto to Juventus, where he had taken over for the incredible Michel Platini. Rui Barros and Futre in a forward tandem? Busy, but far from prolific. The Swiss defence, where Geiger and Weber were, as always, playing hugely important roles, seemed to cope well. Only when Portugal were able to attack with pace along the deck did there seem to be problems for the hosts. Neither Swiss defender had tempo as his forte. But with Vítor Paneira cut off for supply, danger had to come from one of the two strikers.
B Sutter starts in a position wide right in the Swiss midfield, but at times during the first half he will also provide Türkyılmaz with company up front. So there appears to be a few switches between 4-3-3 and 4-4-2 for the hosts, and it has to be said that Chapuisat along the left-sided touchline does not offer a great deal of support for Baumann at left-back, and when he does, he was on a couple of occasions seen giving the ball away inside his own half. Chapuisat appeared to be better off inside the opposition half. On 18 minutes the home side manage to create space enough for Piffaretti to have a low shot from the angle of the penalty area, but he does not get enough power behind it, and Silvino can easily collect. Favre had done well to set him up. Another Swiss counter when approaching 25 minutes sees Hermann set up B Sutter in almost a similar position, but his shot is scuffed and drifts harmlessly wide. Only moments earlier, Jaime Magalhães had made half-hearted claims for a penalty: a rare Paneira cross from the left reached the Porto wide man on the far post, and as his header bounced off the ground, it might just have caught Geiger’s arm just before the libero was able to clear. The ref was not listening, though.
On 27 minutes, Chapuisat picks up a pass from Baumann on the left hand side, and as he gets past Nunes and makes his way inside the penalty area, the Portuguese midfielder clumsily barges into the back of the Swiss number 11. ‘Barging’ is perhaps a strong description, as Chapuisat goes to the ground very easily. However, the touch justified for the referee to award Switzerland a penalty, and although it had not been quite as soft as the one they had got against Brazil, they could consider themselves lucky. João Pinto was also close by Chapuisat, but he did not dare put a tackle in. Türkyılmaz dispatches the penalty with his left foot low to Silvino’s left. The ‘keeper went the wrong way. However, before the striker was able to take the spot kick, both Silvino, João Pinto and Frederico were seen throwing objects off the pitch that had been thrown on by the Portuguese crowd behind the goal. This was far from the only occasion that the crowd were hurling objects onto the pitch, and it was not just the travelling contingent who were seen doing this.
A few minutes after the goal, Portugal are presented with their best goalscoring opportunity of the first half as the rather disappointing Jaime Magalhães has a rare moment of quality in lifting the ball through into the path of Futre in the left side of the Swiss penalty area. The Spain based striker hits it first time, but Brunner makes a terrific save with his left foot, and the ball bounces away to safety.
Only a couple of minutes before half time, Juca demonstrates his level of dissatisfaction as he proceeds to make a substitution. It is Jaime Magalhães who will be something of a scapegoat as the manager takes him off and replaces him with striker Rui Águas. Magalhães runs straight down the tunnel and is clearly unimpressed to be taken off. With Águas on, the Portuguese change their formation from 4-4-2 to 4-3-3 as they look to get a stronger grip in midfield. Nunes will take the holding role and let André (left of centre) and Vítor Paneira do the running ahead of him. This will see Rui Barros come into a right-sided forward role, perhaps giving him the chance to cooperate with Vítor Paneira to cause the Swiss problems along their left side of defence. Futre comes wide left, with substitute Rui Águas in the centre. There is no time to make much of an impact before the referee blows his whistle for half time, but only after Favre has had a pop from 25 yards with his trusted left foot straight into the arms of Silvino.
Kick-off is through Favre and Türkyılmaz.
Perhaps the most interesting note at the start of the second half would be to see how the Portuguese change in personnel and tactics towards the end of the first half would influence the match. During the first few minutes it was hardly noticeable. Portugal continued to look lost for ideas in midfield, and it was up to the forwards to take responsibility. Futre did, and was brought down by Weber on the left corner of the penalty area. Subsequent free-kick taken by Futre himself and headed away by Weber. Chapuisat down the Swiss left flank was time and again involved, just like he had been during the first half, and would often come up against João Pinto, with both players relishing the battle. The Lausanne forward managed to put a cross in for Türkyılmaz to try and get on the end of, but Veloso did some excellent sideways positional shifting with both Venâncio and Frederico out of position, and was able to get in front of the striker to clear.
The second booking of the match, the first of the second period, fell to Portugal’s industrious midfielder António André, who was penalized when he grabbed hold of Piffaretti as the Swiss midfielder was trying to make his way down the right hand side. A few minutes later there are reports of a first Swiss booking, but as the camera focuses on replays there is no view of the referee nor Weber, the player in question, at the time when the yellow card is supposed to have been issued. italia1990.com are therefore unable to confirm the central defender’s yellow card, and neither is there an audible reaction from the crowd to suggest that he had been booked. What happened was that Rui Barros tried to kick the ball after goalkeeper Brunner had clutched it to his chest after the visitors had made inroads, something which clearly angered the blonde Swiss defender. He gave Rui Barros a push, not a big push or anything nasty, but it signalled the start of a small melee which had several players involved. The last view of the ref before the Swiss television producer decides to run a prolongued replay of the incident is as he’s stood near the touchline trying to call someone over, possibly Weber. The audio is obviously always in real time, but there are no cheers or boos from the crowd to suggest that Mr Koukoulakis has booked the defender, and then when live pictures are resumed the referee is about to run away and signal for resumption of play through a free-kick to be taken by Brunner. Was Weber booked like several stats pages suggest? Impossible to say.
Hermann, the home side’s captain, is often seen towards the right hand side of the pitch, and on one occasion still early in the second half, he swings a deep cross in for Türkyılmaz to get his head to at the far post. The striker is unable to direct the ball at goal with any sort of pace, so instead he elects to try and head it back towards B Sutter, who seems a bit surprised and is unable to get to the ball. However, as Nunes picks it up in the centre of the area, his attempted clearance strikes Piffaretti, and Sutter all of a sudden seems to be in with a goalscoring opportunity, only for Frederico to challenge the Swiss number 7 and aid the ball back to goalkeeper Silvino. B Sutter is once again left in a heap on the floor, claiming great pain to his left shoulder as he fell awkwardly. This might just be a decoy after he realized that trying to claim a penalty in this situation would only have been embarrassing, so he went down clutching his shoulder instead. Silvino is unimpressed by Sutter’s action, which eventually sees him receive treatment by the medical staff. Shortly after he is back on his feet and well able to resume play. The number of times that the Swiss wide midfielder cum forward had gone down was possibly beginning to annoy the visitors by this time.
The visitors were gradually taking over the game after a somewhat slow start to the second period. They were gaining control in midfield through Nunes and André, but Vítor Paneira was still just a peripheral figure in the Portuguese build-ups. This was odd, as he was now accompanied by both João Pinto and Rui Barros on the right hand side. Most of the visitors’ creativity still had their roots along their left hand side, where Futre was still in the mood. He was often giving Rey a difficult time, and libero Geiger often saw the need to cover for his full-back. On the 15 minute mark of the second half, Futre again left Rey for dead to run into the area and have a shot from a bit of an angle. Brunner held the ball on the near post, but the Swiss were by now realizing that they were having to do increasingly more defending.
On 65 minutes a Swiss counter is close to providing them with a 2-0 lead. Chapuisat leads the charge down the left hand side, where he’s probably fortunate to escape after having pushed Venâncio out of the way. He squares the ball for the on-storming Piffaretti, who connects with the inside of his right foot, only to see his effort blocked. However, Nunes and Frederico make a meal of getting the ball away, and it will ricochet back into the path of the livewire midfielder, who all of a sudden can strike at goal with the tip of his boot. With Silvino rooted to his spot, the ball evades the right hand post by a few inches only. It could so easily have been game over.
Midway through the second half Switzerland make a substitution when B Sutter’s finally had enough. After a kick to his left foot by André, he receives a bit of treatment on the touchline before Mr Stielike decides to replace him with striker Zuffi. Considering the way the match is going, it is perhaps a bold move not to bring another midfielder into the fray instead? Colombo could have been an option. The Swiss boss was perhaps hoping that the tactics with two strikers would keep the Portuguese defence well employed in the final quarter of the match. In retrospect, not replacing B Sutter with a more defensive player was a decision that would come back to haunt the manager.
As Switzerland try to produce another counter through Chapuisat, the winger is penalized inside his own half, and from the resulting free-kick swung into the area by João Pinto and headed on by Rui Águas, the hapless Rey is penalized for wrestling Venâncio to the ground on the far post. Penalty. It is a rather easy decision to make for the Greek referee, particularly after he had awarded the home team such a soft spot kick in the first half. Futre, easily the best attacking player on the pitch, dispatches with ease as his shot just to the right of centre is enough to beat Brunner, who’s dived in the other direction. One apiece, and there is still plenty of time for the visitors to produce the necessary winner.
The Portuguese have their tails up by now, and they continue to put the home side under pressure. Only a few minutes after the equalizer, they will go on and score another, and inevitably it is produced from the left hand side, where Futre picks up a flicked header from Rui Águas. While Futre engages Geiger rather than Rey this time, centre forward Rui Águas has had time to run into the centre, and as Futre’s teasing cross from the left comes in, the striker is fortunate as he has Favre’s attempted clearance kicked into him. The ball has enough momentum to find its way into the back of the net past Brunner, and the visitors all of a sudden have a 2-1 lead. The goal sparks wild celebrations among players and fans alike. Switzerland have conceded midfield, and are only looking to threaten Portugal on break-aways. Zuffi had come on in a straight swap for B Sutter, seen equally as much out wide right as up front alongside Türkyılmaz, but he has little effect. Clearly, Mr Stielike needs to come up with something different to try and bring back balance.
Immediately after the goal, Favre comes off and is replaced by debutant Herr. A defender. Again, it is an odd choice by the manager, and if will most likely have baffled the home crowd. Favre had been doing quite a bit of defensive work during the second half, often covering for Baumann on the left hand side, and he had possibly taken a knock as his attempted clearance from Futre’s cross came off Rui Águas’ torso and ended up in goal. Herr seemed to take to right-back, Stielike probably realizing what a tormentor Futre had been to Rey, who was pushed further up field and into a right-sided midfield role. This time Zuffi clearly went up front to partner Türkyılmaz in a 4-4-2, with Piffaretti taking over Favre’s centre left midfield position.
Futre continues to be a menace, and he will get substitute Herr booked as he sprints towards the byline, only to be scythed down by the blonde Swiss defenceman. Again Futre swings the ball into the box himself, and again it is cleared by the home defence. The Portuguese set-pieces have generally not been very good, with a big exception in João Pinto’s free-kick from the right hand side which had brought the penalty for the equalizer. Vítor Paneira has not been able to find team mates from numerous right wing corners in the second half.
The home side are making an effort to chase an equalizer, and there is another tactical shuffle by Mr Stielike. This time he wants Geiger to contribute from midfield, so he tells Rey to take over libero duties. Despite having been given a torrid time by Futre throughout the second half, Rey is still standing. However, whether the home side lose 2-1 or 3-1 is of little importance. Their only interest is a win, something which is surely beyond them by now, but they can’t go home without having at least tried. Rey at libero and Herr alongside Weber at centre half seems to be the last throw of the dice, even if Weber is also seen moving into midfield towards the frantic end of the match. Chapuisat is still doing his best to be creative from his left wing role, and again he gets past João Pinto to deliever a cross. Silvino, who is remembered for the mess he made when he spilled a Van Der Linden cross into his own goal for the Belgian equalizer during their 1-1 home draw earlier in the year, again appears to have slippery hands, but despite his fumble, no Swiss player is on hand to react, and Portugal are able to clear. There had been no imminent danger, but when your goalkeeper makes a meal of an easy cross it hardly leaves an assured impression.
There is a fifth (fourth?) and final booking a couple of minutes from time when Veloso sees yellow. The visiting left-back had only a couple of minutes earlier been on the end of the referee’s attention for kicking the ball a couple of yards away when Hermann had wanted to swing a free-kick from the right hand channel into the box, and then not retrieved the necessary amount of yards as told by the official. Mr Koukoulakis’ patience with Veloso was up, although it is difficult to say why the Portugal number 5 was booked. Possibly for taking a free-kick before the referee had blown his whistle.
A minute into time added on, just as Switzerland were about to swing a free-kick from the right hand side into the penalty area, Juca took the disappointing Vítor Paneira off for big defender Luís Sobrinho. This was obviously just to see the game out and to add some more height to their defence for the ball into the box. However, despite having three big central defenders lined up inside their own penalty area, Portugal let the ball fall for Türkyılmaz to have a strike towards goal with his trusted left foot. The angle proves to be too difficult, and the ball ends up in the side netting. It was a lapse in concentration which could have cost the visitors dearly. As it were, it was the final piece of action as the referee shortly after signals the end to the game.
Portugal show great character in coming from behind to win in what had been billed as a ‘must win’ game for them in order to keep up with Czechoslovakia in the fight for second spot behind Belgium. Portugal were not at their best in a slow first half, in which the home side went ahead following a soft penalty awarded to them when Nunes was ajudged to have leant into Chapuisat. Türkyılmaz dispatched. Juca made a substitution towards the end of the first half, and gradually they took control of the match in the second half, eventually scoring twice. Futre was their great inspiration as he scored the penalty and then set up Rui Águas’ slightly fortunate goal. It was evident that the better team won.
1 Brunner 6.9
not at fault for the goals, does well when coming for aerial balls, and has a great leg save from Futre during the first half
2 Rey 6.3
increasingly awkward performance against the splendid Futre, and gives away the penalty as he wrestles Venâncio to the ground. Towards the end plays as both a wide right midfielder and as a libero
3 Baumann 6.7
a much better defensive performance than had been seen in the friendly against Brazil, but did not offer a lot of support for Chapuisat
4 Weber 6.8
despite a couple of awkward moments inside his own half, he battles well with Águas, and wins his share of headers. Relishes a physical contest, and keeps the defence together along with Geiger
5 Geiger 7.0
the elegant libero could perhaps have made a stronger effort to prevent Futre for getting the ball across for 2-1, but other than that an impeccable defensive job. Good on the ball as he always looks for creative solutions
6 Piffaretti 6.9
always on the run and often in battle. Average physique, but still makes his presence felt in battle for midfield. Also desperately close to scoring a second before the visitors make their come-back, and even disposesses the Portuguese defence inside their own area a second time to no avail
7 B Sutter 6.6
fully committed, moves between wide right and up front. Not succesful in all he does, but contributes to the cause of the team. Goes to the ground no less than five times, and eventually hobbles off with a left foot injury. No major goal threat
(15 Zuffi –
tries to add some presence to the front line, gets his head to a free-kick from the right, but does not give the Portuguese defence a lot of trouble)
8 Hermann 6.7
continues to leave somewhat of an untidy impression, this time seen either central right or wide right. Could perhaps use his physique to greater advantage, and also sometimes takes too long to orientate himself when in possession
9 Türkyılmaz 6.8
at times became too isolated up front in battle with the strong Portugal centre halfs. Scores a fine penalty, and also has another couple of efforts with his prefered left foot
10 Favre 6.7
moves the ball more sideways than forward, has a couple of shots from distance which do not trouble Silvino. Fine defensive contributions in the second half until he is unfortunate as he tries an attempted clearance that comes off Águas for the second Portuguese goal. Appears to injure his foot in the process and has to come off. More a case of hurt pride, though?
(12 Herr –
comes on at right back and is also up against an excellent Futre, something which results in a booking for him scything the forward down and also giving away another free-kick. Has a pop at goal with a weak right-footed effort inside the final five minutes)
11 Chapuisat 6.9
gives João Pinto a bit of concern with his trickeries, and gets a few crosses in from his side. Not consistent enough as you would expect from a young lad, and should focus on events inside the opposition’s half as he had a couple of unsuccesful defensive involvements
1 Silvino 6.7
not totally confident in everything he does, but not often troubled
2 João Pinto 6.9
some fine tussles with Chapuisat, usually in control of his defensive side, even if he does allow a few crosses. Is behind the free-kick that produces the penalty
3 Frederico 6.8
often in battle with Türkyılmaz and usually wins in the air. Keeps a total defensive focus throughout
4 Venâncio 6.9
less in direct combat than Frederico, and keeps things simple. Wins the penalty for the equalizer, and is also an aerial threat for attacking set-pieces
5 Veloso 6.9
another decent international by the Benfica full-back, who keeps his territory well
6 Nunes 6.8
patrols the midfield, better in the anchor role than as one of two central midfielders. Goes in unnecessarily hard on B Sutter for his early booking, and is perhaps fortunate to escape a second yellow after another couple of feisty challenges
7 Vítor Paneira 6.1
massively disappointing performance of a player of whom so much is expected. Uncomfortable in the wide left role first half, does not contribute much from his central right position second half, and sees a series of unsuccesful second half left wing corners. Taken off to add some height for a final defensive set-piece situation
(13 Sobrinho –
just on the pitch for a defensive set-piece which yields an opportunity for Türkyılmaz)
8 Rui Barros 6.8
not always a lot of end product, but makes sure he’s a nuisance to the opposition defenders, and is also doing a bit of defensive work for good measure
9 Jaime Magalhães 6.4
a mediocre 43 minutes until he was sacrificed to pave way for a striker. Did not keep width well, but did play Futre in for his great opportunity which was saved by Brunner
(16 Rui Águas 7.2
definitely a good contribution. Adds aerial power up front, and obviously gets the plaudits for being in the right place at the right time for 2-1. Also works well off the ball)
10 Futre 7.8
a match winning performance: scores a pen and assists another. Torments Rey during an excellent second half performance. It only takes a few minutes of the game for him to introduce the audience to his turbo speed. Fine first half strike saved by Brunner’s left leg
11 André 6.8
yet another workmanlike performance. Keeps Portugal tick in midfield. Plays it safe