Thursday, July 25, 2024

Shaqiri ´lives and breathes´ for big moments, says Yakin, Clarke issues Tierney update

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 20 Jun 2024

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Switzerland head coach Murat Yakin was proven right after labelling Xherdan Shaqiri as a “special player for special moments”.

Shaqiri capitalised on a Scotland mistake to score a stunning equaliser, earning a 1-1 draw in their second game at the tournament to put Switzerland on the brink of qualifying for the knockout stages.

Indeed, Yakin was full of praise for his star man, who has now scored in each of the last six major tournaments going back to the 2014 World Cup, noting the difference he made to the side.

“He proved that he lives and breathes for moments such as these,” Yakin told reporters. “He has shown that time and time again down the years, he really deserved that wonder goal.

“It was an unbelievably clinical strike. And that was the only thing you could have done in that situation because he intercepted the ball, and he had two opposition players closing him down, so he struck the ball at exactly the right time.

“We’ve still got one game to go, it’s still very open. We’ll do everything in our power to qualify, we want to make it out of the group.

“On these first two matches, we’ve shown that we are ready to battle. We haven’t yet done the job, but we have taken a big step forward towards the knockout phase.”

Scotland were looking to bounce back from a 5-1 thrashing against hosts Germany on the opening day but could not find a winner in the second half.

While they have kept themselves in contention for a place in the last 16, one major doubt to emerge from the game was Kieran Tierney, who was stretchered off in the 61st minute.

Steve Clarke did not know the extent of the injury, he admitted that it will definitely keep the defender out of their final group game against Hungary.

“It looks pretty bad. We have to assess it, but Kieran won’t make the next game,” Clarke said.

“You have to feel for Kieran, he’s got himself in great shape, and he’s a top player for us. It’s a shame, but someone else has got to step up to the mark.”

Speaking on the game itself, the Scotland boss said: “It was nice to see them. We didn’t turn up in the first game. We’re a good team when we play.

“We always knew that the points we require would come from these two games. We’ve got one point now. That means we have a chance going into the last game.

“I believe if we get those three points, we go to the next stage.”

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