Switzerland 0-0 France: Both teams qualify following a monotonous draw

Switzerland and France couldn't be split, both progressing.

Switzerland 0-0 France: Both teams qualify following a monotonous draw
Pogba was the star man, hitting the woodwork twice (photo; Reuters)
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Switzerland: Sommer; Lichtsteiner, Schär, Djourou, Rodriguez; Behrami, Dzemaili, Xhaka, Shaqiri (Fernandes, min. 79); Embolo (Seferović, min. 74), Mehmedi (Lang, min. 86).
France: Lloris; Sagna, Rami, Koscielny, Evra; Cabaye, Sissoko, Pogba; Griezmann (Matuidi, min. 78), Gignac, Coman (Payet, min. 63).
SCORE: 0-0.
REFEREE: Damir Skomina (SLO). Rami (min. 25), Koscielny (min. 83).
INCIDENTS: Euro 2016 game.

France and Switzerland concluded their group qualifiers with a tedious 0-0 draw at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille. France finished the group stages in first place on seven points, and Switzerland finished closely in second place on five points. The French came closest to winning as they struck the crossbar on three ocassions throughout the game.

Pogba dominates early proceedings

Switzerland started the better of the two sides, pressuring the hosts high in their own half. With just eight minutes gone on the clock, they came close to opening the scoring from a set-piece. Fabian Schär won the flick-on at the near post, that was then prevented from going in by teammate Johan Djourou after Paul Pogba had sent it goalbound.

Pogba, however, was prevented from scoring twice by Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer in the space of just two minutes. The first attempt was unconvincingly tipped onto the bar by Sommer. Nevertheless, he made up for it with a terrfic stop to tip a low left-foot voelly wide.

The Juventus midfielder then came agonisingly close to opening the scoring once more. The swiss midfield failed to close him down, allowing him to drive and rocket a shot off of the crossbar from 25 yards out. 

With neither side breaking the deadlock, Adil Rami received the first booking of the game for a high foot on Admir Mehmedi follwing an unsuccessful attempt at an overhead kick. 

Despite the early chances, the majority of the second half was particularly quiet from both sides. The poor surface in Lille just added to the lack of quality in the game. Nonetheless, France had been disappointing in the first half of the past two group games, so it was all to play for in the second half between the top two in Group A.

Switzerland control opening minutes

Switzerland controlled the opening minutes of the first half, passing the ball around comfortbaly amongst their midfield probing the France defense. Nevertheless, it was the French who came closest to scoring the opening 15 minutes. Forward Antoine Griezmann, who had been nonexistant in the game up to this point, finished off a slick counter-attack with a hard drive heading for the top corner, only to be denied by Sommer. 

France manager Didier Deschamps looked to inspire his side to victory by bringing on key player Dimitri Payet for Bayern youngster Kingsley Coman

Payet strikes the bar

With just 15 minutes left ticking on the clock, Moussa Sissoko created a fantastic chance for Payet. He ran the length of the half, beating the Swiss for pace and strength, laying the ball on a tee with a superb cross for Payet, however his first time volley crashed off the bar.

Payet came on and hit the bar (photo; AP)
Payet came on and hit the bar (photo; AP)

As the game started to come to a close, neither team looked likely to break the deadlock. Nonetheless, Switzerland had to wary of France's forwards as they had two late winners in their only other Euro fixtures. Payet did have a free-kick in the 87th minute, but he failed to beat the Swiss wall.

With just two minutes additional time, both teams looked content to play out the game for a draw. Although, the Swiss did have a strong penalty shout waved away by referee Damir Skomina after Bacary Sagna dragged down Blerim Džemaili in the French penalty box.