Romania keep their hopes of surviving the group stage alive after splitting the points with Switzerland. The Swiss were able to cancel out an early penalty with a goal of their own, but the final result was 1-1.
Romania were looking for their first points in Group A, having narrowly lost their opener to France, while Switzerland knew that they had already the chance to qualify for the next round with a win.
The Swiss quickly seized the initiative early but, as they had been in their first game, were hardly ruthless in front of their goal. Luckless Haris Seferovic recorded one of his patented not-so-near misses in the sixth minute. The striker also misfired ten minutes later.
Romania pressed forward whenever opportunities presented themselves, and that paid off in minute 17. Stephan Lichtensteiner tugged repeatedly on Alexandru Chipciu’s jersey in the box, which Russian referee Sergei Karasev felt was enough for a penalty. Bogdan Stancu held his nerves from the spot.
The penalty was a bit harsh, but Romania gradually earned their lead over the first half, generating a couple of chances while neutralizing most Swiss attacks in midfield. And when they did advance the ball in front of the Romanian goal, nothing came of it.
Immediately after the restart, Romania had a look at doubling their lead after pouncing on a loose ball in front of their opponents’ goal, but the Swiss were able to clear their lines.
Things were looking grim for the Alpine favorites until Admir Mehmedi decided enough was enough. He lashed a rebound in the penalty area into the top of the net in minute 56 to level the score.
Switzerland were now back in control but still needed Yaan Sommer to make a tidy save of a wicked Romanian free kick from distance in minute 70. The Swiss huffed and puffed but ultimately lacked sufficient wind to blow the Romanians’ house down. Despite two-thirds Swiss possession, the match ended 1-1.
That result keeps Group A wide open. In the final matches on Sunday, Romania face Albania, while Switzerland have to lock horns with hosts France.