Switzerland beat Germany in eight-goal thriller

Switzerland 5 Germany 3

Switzerland 5 Germany 3

Ottmar Hitzfeld’s Switzerland beat his home country in an eight-goal thriller in Basel, giving Germany coach Joachim Loew plenty of food for thought with just days to go before he has to hand in his 23-man squad for Euro 2012.

It was Switzerland’s first win over Germany in 56 years and one they will remember for a long time to come as a hat-trick from Eren Derdiyok and further goals from Stephan Lichtsteiner and Admir Mehmedi earned them a resounding 5-3 victory.

Germany were always chasing the game with goals from Mats Hummels, Andre Schurrle and Marco Reus scant reward for one of the favourites for Euro 2012.

Loew was without his eight Bayern Munich players, but was still able to field seasoned internationals such as Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose in a strong starting XI.

Derdiyok, who will move within the Bundesliga from Bayer Leverkusen to Hoffenheim this summer, put the Swiss in front in the 21st minute when he turned Tranquillo Barnetta’s cross in.

Two minutes later, the same two former Leverkusen players combined to make it two with Derdiyok this time heading past Germany’s debutant goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who was given a torrid first few minutes of international football.

The Borussia Monchengladbach custodian made amends two minutes later when he denied Derdiyok what would have been the quickest hat-trick of his career as he held the upper hand in a one-on-one situation.

The Swiss appeared to be in complete control of the game, but they were punished for a momentary lapse in concentration just before the half-time whistle.

Mesut Ozil’s free-kick was met by Hummels, whose header went in off the underside of the crossbar to give Germany hope going in at the break.

Derdiyok needed only five minutes in the second half to get his and Switzerland’s third with Barnetta once again the provider of his header, which Ter Stegen almost managed to keep out this time.

Germany reduced the arrears again in the 64th minute with Schurrle trying his luck from distance and Wolfsburg goalkeeper Diego Benaglio seemed to get his bearings wrong as the ball flew past him.

Goal number six of an exciting encounter arrived just three minutes later, and it was once again the home side who re-established a two-goal advantage with Lichtsteiner heading in Gokhan Inler’s cross with Ter Stegen again looking insecure in the Germany goal.

The goal fest continued with Reus getting Germany back into the game when he was on hand to score the rebound after Julian Draxler’s shot was only parried by Benaglio.

A rebound at the other end enabled Mehmedi to score Switzerland’s fifth after Reto Ziegler’s free-kick came back off the post to the Dynamo Kiev striker, who finished off the scoring.

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