By Philipp Krach

FRANKFURT, Germany (Reuters) – Switzerland coach Murat Yakin was relieved to have guided his team to the last 16 at Euro 2024 even though his players missed out on pulling off a rare victory over hosts Germany after conceding a stoppage-time equaliser in their final Group A fixture.

“The pressure was huge, we can live with the point”, he said. “It is a fair result.”

Switzerland were agonisingly close to a famous victory over hosts Germany, but Niclas Fuellkrug’s stoppage-time equaliser salvaged a 1-1 draw for Julian Nagelsmann’s team. The Swiss had taken the lead through Dan Ndoye’s first-half opener, threatening to spoil Germany’s party.

“It was a tactical game, we ran a lot”, Yakin explained. “The strategy works.”

While grabbing top spot in Group A, Germany’s late equaliser was a bitter blow for the Swiss, who came close to an upset win.

“We could have won,” Yakin said. “If you are leading until minute 92, it is sad. But generally we are happy. I am proud of the team, happy that we stayed unbeaten.”

Switzerland captain and player of the match Granit Xhaka referred to the hosts reaction: “Cheers from the Germans after the 1-1 actually says it all”, he said. His team is hungry.”

This result meant Germany advanced to the last 16 as Group A winners, while Switzerland finished as runners-up.

Julian Nagelsmann’s men had already sealed their place in the last-16 after beating Scotland and Hungary. The Swiss drew 1-1 against the Scots earlier in the week following their opening win over Hungary.

(Reporting by Philipp Krach, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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