By Jacob Ajom
Debutants, Switzerland, continued their fairy-tale run in the ongoing Nigeria 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup with a stunning 4 â€” 3 victory over hard-fighting Japan in their third group B match played at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, yesterday.
The Japanese who impressed but lost to Brazil in their opening match last Tuesday, were clearly incharge of procedings at kickoff with the impressive Lagos fans solidly behind them. Predictably, it was not for long when Takumi Miyayoshi spoting jersey number 8 opened scores in the ninth minute of play.
He doubled scores for the losers in the 27th minute with a clinical finish that left the Swiss bench confused.
For the first time, Lagos fans witnessed what appeared strange development as the centre referee called for a water break which lasted for about two minutes.
After the water break, the Swiss found their rhythm as they ended up scoring one goal courtesy Haris Seferovic, to end the first half 2-1.
On resumption, the Swiss continued their resurgence with a dominant play that resulted in two quick goals that turned the table against the flat-footed Japanese.
Switzerland scored their fourth goal with few minutes from regulation time to kill the game. They reduced the Japanese to mere passengers.
But the never-say-die Japanese fought back gamely to slot in a stoppage time goal to reduce the tally to 4 – 3.
With this result, Switzerland now top the group with six points after two victories from as many matches. This also means the Swiss who are appearing in the FIFA U-17 tournament for the first time have become the first team to qualify for the round of sixteen in Nigeria 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup, with a match on hand.