Yakin salutes Shaqiri as Swiss hit back to hold Scotland

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COLOGNE: Switzerland boss Murat Yakin hailed Xherdan Shaqiri’s ability to produce magical moments after his stunning strike rescued a valuable 1-1 draw against Scotland at Euro 2024 on Wednesday.

Yakin’s side trailed to Scott McTominay’s early goal in Cologne, but Shaqiri put Switzerland back on level terms in eye-catching style.

The former Liverpool forward pounced on Anthony Ralston’s wayward backpass and curled a sublime finish into the top corner from the edge of the area.

It was one of the goals of the tournament so far and Yakin was quick to praise his diminutive forward.

“Shaqiri proved tonight that he lives and breathes for moments like that. He has shown that time and again down the years,“ Yakin said.

“He really deserves that moment. It was an unbelievably clinical strike. He did the only thing he could do. It really helped the team out.”

After beating Hungary 3-1 in their opener and taking a point from the tenacious Scots, Switzerland sit second in Group A behind hosts Germany.

With four points on the board, the Swiss are almost certain to reach the knockout stage for a sixth successive major tournament, providing they don’t suffer a heavy defeat against Germany in their last group fixture.

“We’ve still got one game to go. It’s still very open. We will do everything we can to make it out of the group,“ Yakin said.

“In these first two games we have shown we are ready to battle. Scotland really did cause us problems and we had to expend all of our energy.

“Scotland’s pride had been hurt and they needed to bounce back. We could have won the match but they also created opportunities.”

Germany have looked one of the strongest teams in the tournament after crushing Scotland 5-1 and easing to a 2-0 win against Hungary.

Yakin knows Switzerland will have to survive a tough test against Julian Nagelsmann’s team in Frankfurt on Sunday.

“It will be a very different match against Germany compared to the first two games,“ Yakin said.

“Hope counts for very little in matches such as this. Germany have been playing spectacular football but we are not necessarily under pressure in terms of our position.

“We haven’t yet done the job but we have taken a big step forward.”

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