Murat Yakin admits Switzerland's Shaqiri lives and breathes big moments

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Murat Yakin admits Switzerland's Shaqiri lives and breathes big moments

Switzerland look almost certain to advance to the knockout round
Switzerland look almost certain to advance to the knockout roundReuters
Switzerland manager Murat Yakin (49) recently called Xherdan Shaqiri (32) a special player for special moments, and the Chicago Fire winger proved him right in their 1-1 draw with Scotland at EURO 2024 on Wednesday.

Shaqiri scored the equaliser with a brilliant strike, charging towards the area to intercept a poor Scottish pass before powering a shot into the top corner of the net.

"He proved it tonight 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 tonight.

"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."

Shaqiri, who has played for Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and Liverpool among others clubs, has now scored in each of the last three European Championships and World Cups.

"Shaq always gives everything in training and he scored a crucial goal, and I don't know how many other players could score that goal," Switzerland defender Manuel Akanji said.

Switzerland look almost certain to advance to the knockout round, sitting on four points after beating Hungary in their opener. They clash with Germany, who top Group A on six points, on Sunday, but could advance even if they lose.

"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" Yakin said. "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 this evening," he added. "And it's a worthy step towards the knockout phase. Scotland really did cause us problems. We had to expend all of our energy tonight."

The Swiss have excelled at recent major tournaments, advancing past the group stage in four of the past five World Cups and reaching the quarter-finals of Euro 2020.

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