Breel Embolo and Kieffer Moore both scored headers as Switzerland and Wales drew 1-1 in their 2020 UEFA European Championship Group A opener at Olympic Stadium in Baku on Saturday.
After a goalless first half, Embolo put the Swiss in front from a Xherdan Shaqiri corner four minutes into the second half before Moore made the most of a well-rehearsed corner for the Welsh with 17 minutes to go.
Substitute Mario Gavranovic had a late effort ruled out via VAR in a lively cameo appearance for Switzerland, but it finished level in Azerbaijan to put both sides on a point behind leaders Italy on three and in front of Turkey on zero.
Set piece suspicions
Both sides needed corners to score their goal but were also undone by them at their own ends of the pitch.
Embolo's header from Shaqiri's assist was Switzerland's third from their last four Euro goals to have come via a corner while Moore's effort from a Joe Morrell delivery was Wales' third of their last four tournament goals to have been scored with the head.
If both are to advance from the group, they will need to tighten up their defenses. In particular, Switzerland being able to isolate Embolo against the much shorter Joe Allen was a giant mismatch.
The 24-year-old Cameroon-born Swiss international has been on the radar for the best part of five years or so but he has never really tapped into the prolific part of his potential -- until now.
The current Borussia Monchengladbach player, after Schalke 04 plucked him from FC Basel, is starting to find the back of the net with greater regularity and utilize him impressive physique.
On another day, Embolo would have had more than one goal, for long stretches of the match he terrorized the Wales back line, and he will be key to Swiss hopes of qualifying out of Group A at Turkey's expense, with Italy the early pace setters.
Wales will feel that they have gotten away with it after getting a draw in a match that did not particularly deserve anything from. Switzerland outshot Wales 18 to 9 and won the expected goals battle on the day as well, 1.77 to 0.46.
Had Gavranovic's goal stood, there would have been few complaints and Switzerland would have joined Italy at the top of the group.
Instead, both sides are level and ahead of Turkey with the Welsh up against the Turks next and the Swiss taking on the Italians.
➕ - Kieffer Moore🏴 is the 2nd Moore to score at a EUROs or World Cup, after Craig Moore🇦🇺 at the 2006 World Cup. Bobby Moore🏴, who was England's captain when they won the 1966 World Cup, never scored a goal in a major tournament. #WALSUI #EURO2020— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) June 12, 2021
There was surprise when Daniel James was substituted with 15 minutes to play, and many would have been less surprised to see Gareth Bale making way after a subdued showing. The aging star had a grand total of one shot, which was blocked.
There is no doubt that the Real Madrid man is Wales' star, but it is going to be harder for him to single-handedly lead them through games as he did during the memorable run of 2016 when he scored in each group game as they made it all the way to the semifinals without raising his level.