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Shaqiri Strikes Again: Switzerland Draws 1-1 with Scotland at Euro 2024

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Cologne, Germany — At 32 years old and now playing in Major League Soccer, Xherdan Shaqiri continues to shine on the international stage. On Wednesday, his spectacular first-half goal secured a 1-1 draw for Switzerland against Scotland at Euro 2024.

This goal marks the sixth consecutive major international tournament in which Shaqiri has scored, a streak that began with the 2014 World Cup. The Chicago Fire forward has now found the net in three World Cups and three European Championships.

“He proved tonight that he lives and breathes for moments like these,” said Switzerland coach Murat Yakin.

Shaqiri’s goal came from a first-time curling effort from about 20 meters out, showcasing his enduring talent. Scotland initially took the lead in the 13th minute when Scott McTominay’s shot deflected off Fabian Schar and past Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer.

However, Shaqiri capitalized on Anthony Ralston’s loose pass in the 26th minute, firing a left-footed shot into the top corner beyond Scotland keeper Angus Gunn.

“If that chance falls to any other player in the Swiss team, it’s not a goal,” said Scotland manager Steve Clarke. “You knew when it was rolling towards Shaqiri it was destined for the back of the net. He’s a top, top player, so you don’t give top, top players that kind of chance.”

Shaqiri’s illustrious career has seen him play for top European clubs including Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, and Liverpool. Despite his move to Chicago Fire two years ago, he has continued to deliver for his national team on the grandest stages.

“Shaq always gives everything in training,” noted Switzerland defender Manuel Akanji. “I don’t know how many other players are able to score that goal.”

The draw leaves Switzerland with four points, positioned second in Group A behind Germany, and likely to advance to the round of 16. Germany secured their spot in the knockout stages with a 2-0 win over Hungary.

Scotland’s hopes of advancing now hinge on their final group match against Hungary on Sunday and the outcomes of other games. Historically, no team has failed to advance from the group stage with four points.

Both teams had opportunities to win the match. Switzerland nearly took the lead when Dan Ndoye, after turning Kieran Tierney, missed a clear shot at goal. Scotland also came close with Grant Hanley hitting the post and Switzerland’s Zeki Amdouni heading wide late in the game.

Scotland has never progressed beyond the group stage in 11 previous attempts at the World Cup or European Championships. Despite this history, the Scottish fans filled Cologne’s squares with optimism and enthusiasm before the match.

Swiss fans also showed up in large numbers, creating a vibrant atmosphere in the stadium. This match was a far more enjoyable experience for Scottish fans compared to their opening game of the tournament, a 5-1 loss to Germany.

“It was what we expected. It was a good reaction to a disappointing night. We’re still alive in the tournament,” Clarke said.

Germany’s goals from Jamal Musiala and İlkay Gündoğan secured their second win of the tournament, ensuring there would be no repeat of their early exit from the 2022 World Cup.

Elsewhere, Albania’s Klaus Gjasula scored in stoppage time to secure a 2-2 draw against Croatia in Group B. Gjasula’s own goal had seemed to hand Croatia the win until his dramatic late equalizer.

Source: AP