Published On: Mon, Nov 19th, 2018

Switzerland 5-2 Belgium: Nations League comeback takes hosts into finals

Haris Seferovic

Haris Seferovic scored a hat-trick as Switzerland completed a scarcely believable comeback to thrash Belgium and reach the Nations League finals.

Thorgan Hazard scored twice for Belgium in the opening 17 minutes, leaving the Swiss needing four goals to progress.

Ricardo Rodriguez gave them hope with a penalty before Seferovic scored from close range and then smashed them into the lead.

Nico Elvedi headed in their fourth before Seferovic’s third.

Switzerland will now play in next June’s Nations League semi-final against hosts Portugal, England or whoever progresses out of France and the Netherlands.

Swiss looked out of it after bad start

Switzerland fans must have been thinking about leaving after Hazard’s two early goals in Lucerne.

He took advantage of Elvedi’s weak back-pass from brother Eden Hazard’s ball to give them a second-minute lead and then smashed another into the bottom corner.

A 1-0 or 2-1 win would have done for Switzerland but because of away goals in their head-to-head record with Belgium, they needed to win by two goals once Belgium had taken a 2-0 lead.

Against the side ranked number one in the world – and after such an electric start for Belgium – that was looking very unlikely.

Belgium left floored by Swiss recovery

The hosts started another brilliant Nations League comeback, on the day England scored twice late on to beat Croatia and reach the finals.

The recovery started when Nacer Chadli fouled Kevin Mbabu as the former Newcastle player tried to shoot. Rodriguez stepped up and sent keeper Thibaut Courtois the wrong way.

Seferovic, who has scored only four goals for Benfica this season, was their unlikely hero – although Xherdan Shaqiri was magnificent too.

The pair combined for the second when the Liverpool attacking midfielder headed a cross over to Seferovic to score from close range.

And they took the lead in the game when the Swiss broke quickly from an Eden Hazard corner and Edimilson Fernandes’ cross was fired home by Seferovic.

Elvedi, who was responsible for the opening goal, put them in pole position for the first time when he headed in Shaqiri’s excellent cross.

Shaqiri had a hand in the fifth when his backheel found Mbabu, whose cross was perfectly headed home by Seferovic.

The Belgians looked stunned from the moment the Swiss started to come back and their best chance came seconds after the fifth goal when Eden Hazard’s shot was tipped onto the bar by Yann Sommer.

Line-ups

Switzerland

  • 1Sommer
  • 2MbabuBooked at 79mins
  • 4Elvedi
  • 20Klose
  • 13Rodríguez
  • 11Fernandes
  • 10XhakaBooked at 38mins
  • 8FreulerSubstituted forZakariaat 79'minutes
  • 14ZuberSubstituted forBenitoat 87'minutes
  • 23Shaqiri
  • 9SeferovicBooked at 87minsSubstituted forAjetiat 90+2'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Moubandje
  • 5Lacroix
  • 6Lang
  • 7Oberlin
  • 12Mvogo
  • 15Fassnacht
  • 16Ajeti
  • 17Zakaria
  • 18Sow
  • 19Gavranovic
  • 21Omlin
  • 22Benito

Belgium

  • 1Courtois
  • 2Alderweireld
  • 4Kompany
  • 20Boyata
  • 15MeunierSubstituted forOrigiat 90'minutes
  • 8Tielemans
  • 6Witsel
  • 22ChadliSubstituted forBatshuayiat 65'minutes
  • 16T Hazard
  • 10E Hazard
  • 14Mertens

Substitutes

  • 3Dendoncker
  • 5Denayer
  • 7Vanaken
  • 9Origi
  • 11Praet
  • 12Mignolet
  • 13Casteels
  • 17Kabasele
  • 18Januzaj
  • 19Mechele
  • 21Castagne
  • 23Batshuayi
Referee:
Daniele Orsato

Match Stats

Home TeamSwitzerlandAway TeamBelgium
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home17
Away16
Shots on Target
Home9
Away8
Corners
Home7
Away5
Fouls
Home8
Away6

Live Text

Match ends, Switzerland 5, Belgium 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Switzerland 5, Belgium 2.

Substitution

Substitution, Switzerland. Albian Ajeti replaces Haris Seferovic.

Attempt saved. Denis Zakaria (Switzerland) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Haris Seferovic with a through ball.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Belgium. Divock Origi replaces Thomas Meunier.

Delay in match Edimilson Fernandes (Switzerland) because of an injury.

Attempt saved. Dedryck Boyata (Belgium) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Michy Batshuayi.

Corner, Belgium. Conceded by Kevin Mbabu.

Substitution

Substitution, Switzerland. Loris Benito replaces Steven Zuber.

Booking

Haris Seferovic (Switzerland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Haris Seferovic (Switzerland).

Vincent Kompany (Belgium) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Michy Batshuayi (Belgium) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt saved. Eden Hazard (Belgium) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Dries Mertens.

Goal!

Goal! Switzerland 5, Belgium 2. Haris Seferovic (Switzerland) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Kevin Mbabu.

Attempt saved. Haris Seferovic (Switzerland) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Xherdan Shaqiri.

Attempt blocked. Steven Zuber (Switzerland) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Edimilson Fernandes.

Booking

Kevin Mbabu (Switzerland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Kevin Mbabu (Switzerland).

Axel Witsel (Belgium) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Switzerland. Denis Zakaria replaces Remo Freuler.

Attempt saved. Dries Mertens (Belgium) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Michy Batshuayi.

Attempt missed. Vincent Kompany (Belgium) header from a difficult angle on the left is too high. Assisted by Dries Mertens with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Belgium. Conceded by Edimilson Fernandes.

Attempt blocked. Thorgan Hazard (Belgium) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Dries Mertens.

Granit Xhaka (Switzerland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Michy Batshuayi (Belgium).

Attempt saved. Eden Hazard (Belgium) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Michy Batshuayi.

Foul by Nico Elvedi (Switzerland).

Thorgan Hazard (Belgium) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt blocked. Toby Alderweireld (Belgium) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Dries Mertens with a cross.

Corner, Belgium. Conceded by Nico Elvedi.

Substitution

Substitution, Belgium. Michy Batshuayi replaces Nacer Chadli.

Foul by Kevin Mbabu (Switzerland).

Youri Tielemans (Belgium) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Goal!

Goal! Switzerland 4, Belgium 2. Nico Elvedi (Switzerland) header from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Xherdan Shaqiri with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Switzerland. Conceded by Nacer Chadli.

Offside, Belgium. Thomas Meunier tries a through ball, but Thorgan Hazard is caught offside.

Offside, Switzerland. Ricardo Rodríguez tries a through ball, but Xherdan Shaqiri is caught offside.

goal

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Switzerland 5-2 Belgium: Nations League comeback takes hosts into finals