Switzerland Extends Impressive Qualifying Form with Convincing 3-0 Victory over Israel

Switzerland made it two wins from two to start their 2024 European Championship qualifying campaign, as a convincing 3-0 victory over Israel at the Stade de Genève extended the hosts’ impressive form in European qualifiers to just two defeats in 18 matches.

Despite posting an emphatic 5-0 victory over Belarus in their Group I opener on Saturday, Switzerland were challenged to ‘do better’ by head coach Murat Yakin afterwards, as they target a third consecutive appearance in the Euro finals. A home clash against 76th-ranked Israel seemed like the perfect opportunity to iron out any kinks, and the hosts started in dominant fashion, with Manuel Akanji seeing an early effort well saved by Omri Glazer.

Israel gradually grew into the contest, but both sides struggled for a cutting edge in the final third. However, that all changed four minutes before the break, following a period of newfound Swiss dominance, when Ruben Vargas received a flick-on from Remo Freuler and fired clinically beyond Glazer, giving the hosts a timely breakthrough.

Switzerland emerged in the second half eager to press home their advantage, and added two goals within just eight minutes of the restart to put the game beyond the visitors. First, Zeki Amdouni rifled home a rebound from inside the six-yard box to double the hosts’ lead, before Silvan Widmer directed a close-range header into the bottom corner, converting with ease via a superb delivery from Denis Zakaria.

Far from collapse as Belarus did, Israel looked to regain some semblance of composure going into the final half-hour. However, the damage was long done, as Switzerland coasted through the closing stages, with Granit Xhaka and Noah Okafor both coming close to adding a late fourth. The result leaves Switzerland top of Group I after two wins from two, while Israel remain on a solitary point after their fifth consecutive away defeat in European qualifiers.

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