June 27, 2018 / 10:04 PM / 5 months ago

Swiss trod thin line between arrogance and confidence, says coach

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia (Reuters) - Switzerland trod a thin line between arrogance and confidence as they claimed the required point to advance to the next round of the World Cup, said coach Vladimir Petkovic after the 2-2 draw with Costa Rica on Wednesday.

Soccer Football - World Cup - Group E - Switzerland vs Costa Rica - Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia - June 27, 2018 Switzerland's Valon Behrami shakes hands with coach Vladimir Petkovic as he is substituted REUTERS/Murad Sezer

The result ensured they finished second in Group E.

“It’s hard to say which side of the line we were on, but the fact of the matter was that we turned over too much possession and lost too many one-on-one situations and so when that happens, it all adds up. Because of that it was a much different performance than what we saw against Brazil and Serbia,” he said after the match at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.

Switzerland, who needed only a draw to progress to the knockout phase for third time in the past four tournaments, found themselves under early pressure from already-eliminated Costa Rica before Blerim Dzemaili handed the Swiss the half-time lead.

Costa Rica hit the woodwork twice before finally equalising and kept creating chances as Switzerland failed to look anything like a side who had picked up four points from their opening two games.

Two more late goals gave both sides a deserved share of the spoils.

“Whenever we managed to attack previously we were able to find each other with precise passing, aggressively moving into the zones. But we didn’t get that right tonight,” added Petkovic.

“I don’t think we need to overanalyse what went wrong but it has to be taken very seriously and we need to recognise this is not the way to go forward.

“I’m sure next game we’ll be much better. I don’t know why it didn’t work well for us.”

Finishing second behind Brazil means Switzerland now play Sweden in St Petersburg on Tuesday in the second round.

“We have big ambitions but our next big ambition is applied to the next opponent and that is what counts now.

“We are not thinking about making history or anything like that, just relaxing now and then making sure we beat Sweden.”

Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Neil Robinson

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