World Cup 2019 qualification – Group 2: Switzerland and Poland pick up routine wins

Albania and Belarus no match for the highest ranked team in the group

World Cup 2019 qualification – Group 2: Switzerland and Poland pick up routine wins
Credit: Getty/Christopher Lee

Firm favourites to automatically progress to the 2019 World Cup from the group stages, Switzerland did their work to stamp their authority over Group 2 when they took to the pitch twice, besting Belarus before completing a home-double to dispatch with Albania Poland keeping check with their own win away in Shkoder.

Albania 1-4 Poland

Showing good form in qualification so far, Poland hit the ground running in Albania, converting half of their on-target shots to breeze past the team ranked #73 in the world.  Aleksandra Sikora’s fifth minute strike set the pace as the hosts were pushed back before Agata Guściora hit the hosts for a quick second, converting Dominika Grabowska’s thirteenth minute corner.

Goals for the experienced Agnieszka Winczo either side of the break confirmed there was no way back for Albania, despite Megi Doci's conciliation twelve minutes from time

Switzerland 3-0 Belarus

Against a Belorussian team unlikely to slink away, Switzerland fast got to work against one of the weaker teams in the group, hammering Natalia Voskobovich’s goal, the Swiss struggled to make anything stick. Thoroughly dominant with over 20 shots on target (from a total of 28), Voskobovich was in fine form to keep the hosts out for the most part of it and ensure the score stayed respectable.

The brightest moments for La Nati were just before the twenty-minute mark when Viola Calligaris wrenched the scores open before Lia Wälti doubled the advantage seconds later, the visitors fast reverting to their defensive form. With Calligaris subbed out five minutes before the break, Géraldine Reuteler took up the reins, adding the third of the game just before the hour before Voskobovich shut-up shop, keeping the hosts out for the last third of the match.

Switzerland 5-1 Albania

Up against another stubborn team, the Swiss lost their clinical edge from their previous game, only able to half of her best efforts on target with the visitors blocking at every turn, efforts wayward throughout. Even still, La Nati made light work of a routine task, hitting five of their best past Marigona Zani, Florijana Ismaili’s eighth minute strike the start of a long night for the Vasha't Kuq e Zinjtë.

As having already shown in qualification, Armir Grimaj’s team aren’t content just to sit back and in one of their rare forays forward, the visitors managed to slip one past the surprised home defence, Qendresa Krasniqi’s goal bringing about unexpected parity. Ramona Bachmann fast robbed the visitors of their temporary joy however when she tipped the scales back in Switzerland’s favour just six minutes later.

Having all of the ball but not doing enough with it, the match wasn’t put to bed until the last fifteen minutes, Rahel Kiwic lively as ever as a set-piece, bright to send Lia Wälti’s deadball home before Calligaris grabbed a quick forth. Finishing the game as they’d started it, Switzerland wrapped the scoring up ten minutes from time when Ismaili got the better of Zani for the second time.

The win keeps the Swiss top of the group with four wins from four.

Group 2 as it stands (Credit: UEFA)
Group 2 as it stands (Credit: UEFA)