Euro 2012 qual. - Ramsey and Bale end Swiss hopes

Fri, 07 Oct 20:40:00 2011

Wales lifted themselves off the foot of Group G and ended Switzerland's hopes of Euro 2012 qualification with a 2-0 win at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea.

Wales' Gareth Bale celebrates his goal against Switzerland with Steve Morison during their Euro 2012 qualifying soccer match at The Liberty Stadium in Swansea October 7, 2011 - 0

Switzerland left-back Reto Ziegler was shown a straight red card ten minutes into the second half for a reckless lunge on Chris Gunter, who was tripped in the box moments later by Timm Klose.

Ramsey fired the penalty low beyond goalkeeper Diego Benaglio before man-of-the-match Gareth Bale secured the win with an assured finish in the 71st minute.

Wales went into this game without a win over Switzerland in 60 years, and Gary Speed's side started tentatively.

Failing to get to grips with the sprightly Xherdan Shaqiri, the hosts struggled to prevent his incisive runs and superb delivery from the right wing as Switzerland searched for a win that would move them level on points with Montenegro.

But for all of Switzerland's possession, Ottmar Hitzfeld's side struggled to create any chances of note.

Instead Liverpool's Craig Bellamy proved the danger, firing in a couple of shots from distance to worry the away side, who were dealt a blow ahead of kick-off when Philippe Senderos limped out of the warm-up.

The best chance of the half fell to Steve Morison, whose excellent chest control and second touch of a tricky high ball allowed him to shoot from close-range, only to be denied by a brilliant reflex save by Benaglio.

But Switzerland's problems started early in the second half.

Former Tottenham left-back Ziegler received a straight red card for a high and late lunge on another former Spurs defender Gunter, catching him on the shin.

With Switzerland still in disarray, Gunter then burst into the box and was tripped by Klose - with the referee pointing straight to the spot.

Wales felt justice had been done after the referee had failed to award a what looked like a clear penalty minutes before when Bale appeared to be tripped by Valon Behrami.

Ramsey's low penalty squeezed beneath Benaglio and Wales had a deserved lead.

Switzerland were toothless in attack, which was only compounded when their most dangerous attacking player, Shaqiri, was subbed.

Inspired by the lively Bale and Ramsey, Wales had Switzerland where they wanted them and the Tottenham winger sealed the win in the 71st minute with a classic Bale run and finish.

Latching on to Morison's intelligent through ball, Bale showed Klose a clean pair of heels before guiding the ball inside the far post and beyond the advancing Benaglio.

The defeat puts Switzerland out of contention following Montenegro's late equaliser against England..

But for Wales it was a thoroughly deserved victory and one that hints at a brighter future for Gary Speed's young side.

Michael Da Silva (on Twitter - @mjdasilva) / Eurosport

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