NEWS
Sunday June 19 2016
France denied by Swiss woodwork

Paul Pogba hit the woodwork twice and Dimitri Payet once, as France failed to break down Switzerland, but both go through.

The hosts were already qualified after two last-gasp and fairly unconvincing victories, so Didier Deschamps made five changes and moved to a 4-3-3 system. Switzerland still had the chance to top the group and brought in 18-year-old striking talent Breel Embolo from the start.

Switzerland had a strong opening and Paul Pogba risked an own goal on a corner, but Johan Djourou couldn’t quite get it over the line as he was unbalanced. Pogba almost scored at the other end, a fierce strike fingertipped on to the crossbar and another angled drive palmed away from close range.

Juventus midfielder Pogba was determined to prove his France doubters wrong and unleashed a rocket on 17 minutes that beat Jan Sommer only to smack against the bar.

It went back to being a more even encounter and after the break Andre-Pierre Gignac drilled straight at Sommer, then Antoine Griezmann’s effort was palmed out from under the bar after a quick one-two with Gignac.

Mousa Sissoko powered down the right and his cross found Dimitri Payet for a stunning volley, but the substitute’s effort came off the underside of the bar on 75 minutes.

Deep into stoppages, it was Switzerland who thought they would grab a winner, but Sagna’s shirt-tug on Blerim Dzemaili was not spotted.

Switzerland 0-0 France

Switzerland: Sommer; Lichtsteiner, Schär, Djourou, Rodriguez; Behrami, Dzemaili, Xhaka; Shaqiri (Fernandes 79), Embolo (Seferovic 74), Mehmedi (Lang 86)

France: Lloris; Sagna, Rami, Koscielny, Evra; Sissoko, Cabaye, Pogba; Griezmann (Matuidi 77), Gignac, Coman (Payet 63)

Ref: Skomina (SVN)