By Jacob Ajom
Basking in the euphoria of their stunning 4 – 3 victory over Germany Wednesday night, Coach of Switzerland U-17Â team, Dany Ryser, described the match as a crazy game.
He entered the media centre for the post match briefing beaming with smiles, offering very little in words. But when he began he went poetic.
â€œIt was a crazy game today,â€ he said. â€œIt was a wonderful game of football, wonderful for spectators; but not for the coach. My head was spinning as it lasted. It is a big complement for my team.â€
Ryser whose team is making their first appearance in the FIFA cadet tournament said â€œthe boys made fantastic efforts that produced a wonderful evening for Swiss football. Germany is one of the super powers in world football. This a wonderful evening for Swiss football.â€
He described Germanyâ€™s 39th minute equaliser as stupid. After Ricardo Rodriguez had shot the Swiss ahead in the 34th minute, a Swiss defender failed to clear a ball that was rolling harmlessly towards his goal line.
Unaware of an unrushing German attacker behind him, the defender was surprisingly calling on the goalkeeper to come for the ball. It was at this period of madness that the Swiss keeper attempted to kick the ball away but the ball rebound off Mario Goetzeâ€™s leg before sailing into the yawning Swiss net.
The coach also said the second goal against his team was not logical. â€œIt came as a result of loss of concentration,â€ he said.
Ryser is already thinking big. He hopes to go all the way as he believes if they are paired against Italy in the quarter-final, the young Azurris would not be able to stop them. â€œWe met at the European championship and we defeated them 3 – 1. If we get to the final, that will be very good,â€ he concluded on that optimistic note.
The match itself was a classic. While the Germans exhibited their traditional strength and technique, the Swiss were resilient, tactically disciplined and with the backing of the Lagos crowd, the atmosphere was just perfect for them.
After the match they did a lap of honour round the stadium waving to the crowd that gave them so much support throughout the match.
On their part, the Germans were inconsolable as some of their players spent over five minutes sitting on the pitch, wondering what befell them long after the refereeâ€™s final whistle.