National team – On Monday, Switzerland will take on France the next attempt to win a knockout game for the first time in 67 years in a World Cup or European Championship finals. She also fights against a curse.
On June 23, 1954, Switzerland won a knockout match at a World Cup or European Championship for the last time. On that day, at the World Cup in her own country, she beat Italy 4-1 in a preliminary round playoff in Basel. She qualified for the quarter-finals – this has never happened since then.
And what a quarter-final it was in Lausanne! Heat battle. 5: 7 against Austria. Most goalscoring game in World Cup history. And and and. Since then, Switzerland has lost five knockout games in a row at the World Cup and European Championship. Five times in the last sixteen. Twice of them in the penalty shootout. One of them in extra time. She scored a single goal in a total of 540 minutes. And every time bankruptcies, bad luck and mishaps accompanied Switzerland on their way to the tournament-out.
Can it be a coincidence? Has a pattern formed there? Somehow, there seems to have been a curse on the SFV selection since the epic World Cup duel with Austria in 1954. Has a curse been placed on anyone who led 3-0 after 19 minutes and managed not to win? It would be the Lausanne curse.
World Cup 1994 in the USA
The bad luck accompanied the Swiss in the preparation for the 0: 3 against Spain. They had to travel from the west to the east coast after the preliminary round. Six hours of flight, three time zones. From San Francisco to Washington. Then Alain Sutter gave forfait shortly before the start of the game because of a broken toe. And in the game, the Dutch referee Mario Van der Ende sided with the opponent. The early 0: 1 by Hierro was irregular. The Spaniard had played to his team-mate Sergi, who was standing in the offside, but he did not take the ball, Van der Ende let go, Hierro took over again and scored the goal. The beginning van der Ende for Switzerland.
World Cup 2006 in Germany
In the defeat against Ukraine it was more mishaps than bad luck that led to the Swiss elimination. The whole game was a mishap – it is still known today as the worst World Cup game in history. Coach Köbi Kuhn’s coaching also had a breakdown when he replaced Alex Frei, the best shooter, three minutes before the penalty shoot-out. The punishment followed immediately. The Swiss embarrassed themselves in a way that had never happened before at a World Cup. No shot went in. Marco Streller licked and pushed the ball into the goalkeeper’s hands. Tranquillo Barnetta shot against the crossbar, and Ricardo Cabanas aimed halfway up and failed at the goalkeeper.
2014 World Cup in Brazil
This is where bad luck comes into play in the 1-0 draw against Argentina. Less when Stephan Lichtsteiner made the wrong pass in the 118th minute, which made it possible for Lionel Messi and goal scorer Angel di Maria to score the winning goal. All the more so three minutes later when Blerim Dzemaili headed the ball against the post from four meters, from where the ball bounced back to Dzemaili’s left knee and from there flew out. If Dzemaili had to do it this way, he would certainly not have made it in 1000 attempts.
EM 2016 in France
The best football tournament of a Swiss team ended with a succinct miss by their best player. It couldn’t be more ironic. Granit Xhaka, the mastermind and metronome in the Swiss team, was the only one of ten shooters not to score in the penalty shootout against Poland. Xhaka ran as the second Swiss – and hit the ball with the left full instep half a meter past the left post.
World Cup 2018 in Russia
The 0: 1 against Sweden had its origin ten days earlier in the win against Serbia. That was when the Swiss had their emotional highlight. After that, they were no longer ready to the point. Bankruptcies, bad luck and mishaps played only a subordinate role in St. Petersburg. And yet one can ask the question: What would have been possible even on this unsuccessful afternoon if Manuel Akanji hadn’t deflected Emil Forsberg’s unplaced, decisive shot into an unsustainable manner for goalkeeper Yann Sommer?