It was only thanks to a debutant that Switzerland was able to pose a real goal threat against Italy. The 20-year-old Alayah Pilgrim, who came on as a substitute almost two minutes earlier, came to the ball freely in the penalty area. A short acceptance, the precise finish – only the aluminum prevented the Aargau native from making a perfect Nati debut. The ball flipped from the right to the left goalpost, but from there it didn’t go into the goal, but out of bounds (82′).
It would have been the equalizer for the national team after they fell behind in the 65th minute thanks to a goal from Arianna Caruso. The Italian was a bit lucky to get the ball in the penalty area after an insufficient clearance by Luana Bühler, but then finished well and gave 21-year-old Livia Peng no chance in the Swiss goal on her 5th international match.
Too few ideas
The lead for the Italians was deserved as they came out of the locker room much more active. They were able to repeatedly pose problems for the Swiss defense, especially with their corners. Too often the allocation in defense was not right, so that the guests had free access to the ball and created a goal threat.
Switzerland remained largely harmless in the attack. The game was too courageous and lacking in ideas, and there was too little speed in the ball actions. Defender Nadine Riesen, in particular, caused a goal threat, as she at least hinted at wanting to score a goal with a volley (28th) and a long-range attempt (70th).
Another debutante stands out
Offensive leader Ramona Bachmann was often attacked harshly by the Italians and lost more and more influence as the game progressed. In her only chance shortly before the break, the Paris legionnaire dribbled her way nicely through the penalty area, but overlooked her better-positioned teammate in the middle and instead finished harmlessly.
This means that the Swiss offensive record under Inka Grings remains shockingly weak. The Swiss only scored 8 goals in the 11 games under the German coach. In addition to Pilgrim, another young debutante, Smilla Vallotto, provided hope that offensive harmlessness would soon be a thing of the past. When she came on, the 19-year-old midfielder, like Pilgrim later, brought some momentum into the game and used it to promote herself.
This is how it goes
Round number 2 of the Nations League is already on Tuesday (live on SRF from 9 p.m.). The Swiss will face Spain, who will face Sweden Celebrated a last minute victory. The Scandinavians, for their part, will then play away to Italy.