The Swiss journey to the 2018 FIFA WORLD CUP RUSSIA started with a big bang on September 6th, 2016. Switzerland beat Portugal (Winner of UEFA Euro 2016) in the first Group B game with a smashing 2-0. With only one later loss against the same team, Switzerland qualified for the tournament in a supreme fashion and I was very hopeful that this would be the World Cup where we would go past the round of 16.
Coming out of a semi-strong group in 2nd place, there was only one more match to go to finally reach the 1/4 Finals for the first time since 1954. Our opponent was not Germany or Mexico, as I anticipated early on, it was Sweden. “Sweden? Ohhhhh happy days”!!
Every bookie dealt Switzerland as the favorite to win this game.
To make it short. We lost! The team was NOT mentally prepared and had the worst game plan, ever. One example: Each and every ball into the Swedish box came in high. This meant easy pickings for the team with 185.2 cm average height, the second tallest team behind Serbia.
Motivation, will, faith and a heart on fire. None was present in the red jerseys on the field of Krestovsky Stadium in Petersburg. Neither was it present in the ranks as there were hardly any red jerseys to be seen.