Current European champions, Italy visited Switzerland, today (5), for the fifth round of the European Qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup, and was in a goalless draw. The main highlight of the match was goalkeeper Yann Sommer, of the hosts, who stopped the Italian attack and saved a penalty from midfielder Jorginho at the start of the second half.
Despite not celebrating much of the result, the Italian national team established a new historic mark in national team football. Unbeaten for 36 games, Italy set the record for most unbeaten games for a national team, which was previously divided between Brazil (1993 to 1996) and Spain (2007 and 2009).
With the result, Italy maintain their unbeaten record in Group C of the competition, with 11 points after five games. Switzerland, who have two games in hand, are in second place with seven points.
Italy returns to the field next Wednesday (8), at 15:45 (GMT), when it hosts Lithuania, for the sixth round. On the same day and time, Switzerland visits Northern Ireland.
Italy started the game better and, little by little, turned the superiority into scoring chances. In the 12th minute, Immobile crashed on top of the defense. On the rebound, inside the area, Insigne kicked and Sommer made a good save.
Two minutes later, Immobile reappeared in the attack with danger. This time, the Lazio forward received a low cross from Berardi, but when it came time to finish, he got it wrong and isolated, losing a good chance.
The Italians continued on top. At 18 minutes, Berardi was released and came face to face with goalkeeper Sommer, who grew up and made a great save to prevent the first goal.
The Swiss goalkeeper returned to shine in the 26th minute. This time, Sommer came out of goal and disarmed Immobile before the striker’s submission.
Switzerland arrived in danger for the first time just in the 30th minute. Rodríguez crossed, the ball was deflected, deceived Donnarumma, but hit the net from the outside.
Despite the scare, the control of the game continued with the visitors, who arrived again with danger in the 34th minute. Insigne hit from outside the area and the ball went very close to the crossbar. A minute later, the same Insigne took a spare and kicked with a volley. He got it badly and Sommer defended easily.
The Swiss team started to scare again in the 42nd minute. Akanji climbed higher than the Italian defense on a free kick and headed close to Donnarumma’s crossbar.
In the 47th minute, the same Akanji took down Immobile at the entrance to the area. Insigne hit hard, straight into the goal, and goalkeeper Yann Sommer, the highlight of the first stage, swung to the back line and secured a goalless draw in the first stage.
As early as 5 minutes into the second half, Italy had the best chance of the match so far. Rodríguez committed a penalty on Berardi and Jorginho was charged. Sommer returned to shine, waited for the definition of the Italian-Brazilian midfielder and fell to make the defence.
On minute 16, Italy returned to attack, but this time, Emerson Palmieri stopped on goalkeeper Sommer after kicking low, crossed.
The Swiss goalkeeper returned to save his team in the 26th minute. This time, Locatelli released Insigne, which hit low. Sommer defended in two halves. In the 37th minute, Sommer shone again, avoiding an Olympic goal by Chiesa.
Switzerland responded in the final minutes. Zakaria, at 38 and 39, forced Donnarumma to practice two good saves.
In the end, with a great performance, Sommer left the field as the great hero of the game, guaranteeing the draw.