Switzerland 0-0 France: As it happened as both sides confirm their place in the knockout round

Switzerland 0-0 France: As it happened as both sides confirm their place in the knockout round
Image credit: VAVEL
Switzerland
0 0
France
Switzerland: Sommer; Lichsteiner, Schar, Djourou, Rodriguez; Behrami, Xhaka, Dzemaili; Shaqiri (Fernandes, min. 79), Embolo (Seferovic, min. 74), Mehmedi (Lang, 86).
France: Lloris; Jallet, Rami, Koscielny, Evra; Cabaye, Sissoko, Pogba; Coman (Payet, min. 63), Gignac, Griezmann (Matuidi, min. 77).
REFEREE: Damir Skomina (SVN). Booked: Rami (min. 25), Koscielny (min. 83).
INCIDENTS: Euro 2016 Group stage fixture between Switzerland and France. This is the beginning of the third round of group stage fixtures. France rest key players in preparation for the knockout round having already qualified. Switzerland need just a point to qualify, although a win will see them top the group. The match was played at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille.

Unfortunately, that's all we have time for tonight. It's not been the most enthralling game to cover, so I thank you for sticking by me throughout that. I've been Sam Smith and I hope to be back soon. 

And there we have it. Damir Skomina blows the final whistle of the game and both sides confirm their places in the knockout round of Euro 2016. Certainly not a game for the neutral, but both sides achieve what they wanted.

90+2' FULL-TIME

90' Two minutes of added-time. Meanwhile, Sagna gets away with conceding a fairly blatant penalty as he pulls Seferovic to the ground. 

90' Switzerland happy to pass the ball around. Their fans are making lots of noise - they realise they are heading into the European Championship knockout round for the first-ever time!

88' Payet's free-kick hits his own player and goes out for a goal kick. Please referee, do not give any more set-pieces. 

87' Free-kick for France right on the edge of the box as Schar handles the ball. Payet moment?

86' Admir Mehmedi is replaced by Michael Lang.

85' Xhaka rips his shirt for the second time in this game. The Switzerland shirts are having their own mini battle with the actual game over which is of the worst quality. 

Both French centre-backs on yellow cards now. 

83' Yellow card for Koscielny who barges into Lichsteiner. Free-kick, as is becoming a tradition in this game, comes to nothing. 

80' Whistling effort from Payet goes just wide. Surely they aren't leaving it late once again?

79' Gelson Fernandes replaces Shaqiri. 

77' France sub: Griezmann is replaced by Blaise Matuidi. 

76' Payet hits the bar! An absolutely superb lung-busting run from Sissoko sees him cross for Payet, whose volley smashes the crossbar before bouncing just before the line. Best piece of quality so far - what a run from the Newcastle man, he started on the edge of his own box!

74' Switzerland change: Seferovic replaces the tiring, but impressive, Embolo. 

73' Haris Seferovic about to enter the contest for Switzerland. 

72' Have a slight feeling both teams know the score in the Romania - Albania game (0-1). Really slow pace to this game as both teams know they qualify for the next round if this stays the same. 

68' Shaqiri not having the greatest game of his career. He's now just run the ball out of play. 

64' Shaqiri's inswinging corner finds the roof of the net. If a single moment was to sum up this game so far, it was that. 

63' France substitution: Payet replaces Coman. 

62' Lots of slipping going on. Pitch not in great condition. Meanwhile, DImitri Payet prepares to come on, maybe he can create the spark of magic that we're really craving here. 

59' Shaqiri furious having not been given a free-kick on the edge of the box. Referee felt he fell to the floor to easily. 

57' Close! Neat build-up play ends with Griezmann getting a clear sight of goal, but his effort is straight down the middle and Sommer bats the ball over the bar. 

56' Sloppy header from Evra almost finds the feet of Embolo, but Lloris is quick off his line and gathers. 

54' Even the ball has had enough of this game, Behrami's tackle on Griezmann results in the ball being ripped in half. Never seen that before!

53' Something has happened! Sommer forced into an easy save from Griezmann's effort from outside the box. This game really lacks quality. 

48' Cleared easily once again. 

48' Switzerland win a corner.

46' Switzerland get the second half underway. 

Second half is imminent. Will France leave it late again?

After an end-to-end start, it's been a very poor first-half. Lacked in quality, despite Pogba's three attempts, two of which have hit the crossbar. Switzerland have been the better side. 

45+1' half-time.

45' One-minute of added-time in Lille. 

Albania are currently 1-0 up against Romania. If that stays the same, Switzerland will qualify for the knockout round even if they lose tonight. 

42' Switzerland confidently passing the ball around in the middle third, although can't seem to find a way past the narrow France midfield. 

38' Pogba rips Xhaka's shirt as the Swiss man looks to counter-attack. Somehow, not even a free-kick is given. 

35' Corner is cleared. Not a great advert for attacking set-pieces tonight. 

34' Switzerland look to counter-attack but Rami stops the advances. France now have another corner. 

34' France waste a free-kick in a dangerous position. Although they now have a corner. 

29' neat build-up play from Switzerland sees Dzemaili tee-up Embolo, whose shot is blocked by Koscielny. Resulting corner is easily cleared. 

25' ... Which ends with Rami attempting an overhead kick and kicking Mehmedi in the process. The defender gets the first yellow card of the game for his troubles. 

25' France have a succession of corners. 

23' Another nervy moment from Sommer who drops Cabaye's cross and Schar clears. 

22' Curse of the commentator. Awul free-kick finds the first man. 

22' Embolo wins a dangerous free-kick out on the left-hand side of the pitch. Switzerland have threatened from set-pieces so far. 

20' Mehmedi blazes over from outside the box. Very lively start to the game. 

17' Pogba hits the bar again! The Juventus midfielder's left-footed 25-yard drives clips the bar. So Unlucky!

15' Dzemaili's shot is deflected and Lloris does well to prevent a corner. 

13' What a save by Sommer! Coman miskicks the ball but Pogba's half-volley is powerful and is heading towards the far post, but Sommer throws out his left hand to prevent France from taking the lead!

12' Off the bar! Pogba's shot from 25-yards falls out of the hands of Sommer and bounces off the bar. 

10' Switzerland the more threatening here as another good ball is played into the box by Rodriguez but evades everyone. 

08' Close! Fabian Schar's flick-on from a corner hits Pogba, goes towards goal but a Switzerland player - possibly Embolo - on the line prevents the ball from going in!

07' Superb last-ditch tackle from Rami to deny Lichsteiner a clear effort on goal.

05' Evra's pass down the left-hand side of the pitch is hit too hard for Coman and the ball trickles out for a goal kick. 

03' France get forward but the final ball is poor. Sort of sums them up in the final third so far this tournament. 

02' France win the first corner as Pogba's shot deflects off Johan Djourou. 

01' Kick-off! France get us underway with the new one-man kick-off technique. 

Now for the famous French anthem, La Marseillaise.

Switzerland national anthem first.

Teams just coming out of the tunnel. National anthems will follow before kick-off. 

Switzerland need just a point to qualify, which would put them onto five points. Romania currently sit on one. Albania are the only nation in the group who cannot finish in the top two, although a win for them could still see them go through as one of the best third-placed sides. 

Switzerland can steal top spot with a win, but can also still finish third if they lose and Romania beat Albania in Group As other game tonight - which also kicks off at 20:00 GMT. 

France are already qualified for the knockout round and need just a point to claim top spot. 

Outcomes of tonight go a little like this...

Just over half an hour until kick off. Will an under-strength France side pick up maximum points from Group A or will Switzerland pull off a shock?

Team news: Switzerland make just the one change to the team that started in the 1-1 draw with Romania: Breel Embolo comes in for the disappointing Haris Seferovic. France make five changes to the side that started the 2-0 victory over Albania: Yohan Cabaye, Moussa Sissoko, Paul Pogba, Andre-Pierre Gignac and Antoine Griezmann replace Blaise Matuidi, N'Golo Kante, Dimitri Payet, Olivier Giroud and Anthony Martial. 

Confirmed France team: Lloris; Sagna, Rami, Koscielny, Evra; Cabaye, Sissoko, Pogba; Coman, Gignac, Griezmann. 

Confirmed Switzerland team: Sommer; Lichsteiner, Schar, Djourou, Rodriguez; Behrami, Xhaka, Dzemaili; Shaqiri, Embolo, Mehmedi.

A full preview of the match can also be seen here

Team news from Lille in just under an hour. For now, you can read pre-match comments from Switzerland boss Vladimir Petkovic by clicking here.

Stay tuned as we’ll have further build-up to the match, including manager comments, stats and facts, as well as team line-ups before the action commences.

Switzerland key player: two man-of-the-match-winning performances from Arsenal’s new midfield general, Xhaka, have seen Switzerland control possession in both their previous games. The former Borussia Monchengladbach captain made European Championship history against Albania, taking to the pitch against his brother, Taulant Xhaka, who plays for the Albanian national team. The siblings became the first to do so since the competition began in 1960. Xhaka outperformed his brother in the game, with his range and variation of his passing an obvious trait. Xhaka likes to sit in midfield, allowing the likes of Blerim Dzemaili and Valon Behrami to push further forward.

France key player: Payet has already shown the quality he can produce in his new role in the France side. just six months ago, the former Marseille man struggled to win the appraisal of Deschamps and often found himself not in the squad, although his performances in the Premier League have given the France head coach no option but to include him. Payet has been France’s most important player so far in the tournament, scoring twice, including a goal of the tournament contender against Romania. His all-round ability could be the difference between France winning and not taking all three points against Switzerland.

Switzerland did need to qualify to take part in the tournament, and did so with a fair amount of ease, despite finishing second in qualifying Group E – behind England. Petkovic’s side finished nine points behind the Three Lions, although five points separated them with third-placed Slovenia. Switzerland won seven of their ten qualifying games, although three defeats – two against England – produced signs of weaknesses. One of those weakness – scoring goals – has already been displayed in France. Rossocrociati scored 24 goals in their ten games, which may look good on paper, but eleven of those came against minnows San Marino. In comparison, England managed 31 goals.

Within these pieces, we usually discuss how each side qualified for the tournament. However, France technically didn’t actually qualify; as is the normality in these events, the hosts qualify for the tournament automatically, meaning France had not played a competitive international since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. However, they have played a number of friendlies instead, including eight since September. A 2-0 defeat to England at Wembley stadium in the aftermath of the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris was their only defeat during that run of matches, winning the other seven. Perhaps their lack of a cutting edge in the opening two games was a result of not playing competitively for almost two years.

Granit Xhaka has been key to Switzerland's success so far | Image: Getty
Granit Xhaka has been key to Switzerland's success so far | Image: Getty

Switzerland have not been particularly convincing either, especially in front of goal, although Rossocrociati are favourites to finish runners-up behind Sunday’s opponents. Two Granit Xhaka-inspired performances have seen them pick up four points from the group, with a 1-0 victory over Albania followed by a 1-1 draw with Romania. Head coach, Vladimir Petkovic, will be slightly worried with his side’s form in front of goal, especially after the Romania game in which Switzerland could have scored at least two more goals. Striker, Haris Seferovic, seems low on confidence and was eventually replaced by the much more effective Breel Embolo after he missed a couple of great chances in the draw with Romania.

Les Bleus are top of Group A having won both of their two matches so far. However, neither have been comfortable victories against nations whom France would be expected to beat with minimal stress. Dimitri Payet’s stunning late goal secured a 2-1 win over Romania, before the West Ham midfielder scored late once again against Albania after Antoine Griezmann had given Didier Deschamps side the lead with just a minute left of normal time. Despite not being particularly convincing, France are still likely to finish their group with a hundred-per-cent winning record – the sign of winners.

Hello and welcome to VAVEL UK’s live coverage and match commentary of the European Championship Group A clash between tournament hosts France and second-placed Switzerland. I, Sam Smith, am your host for this game, which could see both sides qualify for the knockout round of the competition. The match kicks off at 20:00 GMT on Sunday 19 June, so be sure to stay tuned.