International

Switzerland held by 10-man USA

2015-03-31 22:00
Valentin Stocker (AFP)

Zurich - Valentin Stocker's goal 10 minutes from time has secured Switzerland a 1-1 draw with the United States in Zurich on Tuesday although the hosts will be kicking themselves at not having won as their opponents played the last 22 minutes with just 10 men.

The United States -- who won the last meeting betwene the two sides 1-0 in Basel in 2007 -- went down to 10 players when striker Jozy Altidore was sent off in the 68th minute.

The 25-year-old Toronto marksman -- whose World Cup finals last year ended in their opening match when he suffered a hamstring injury -- was booked for a foul and it was swiftly followed by a red when he objected vociferously to the referee.

The visitors were deservedly ahead by that stage as Brek Shea's splendid freekick just before the half-time whistle had given them the lead against an insipid Swiss side.

However, the hosts came out in a sparkier frame of mind in the second-half, helped by coach Vladimir Petkovic's four changes to the original line-up.

Despite this, they were unable to break the American defence -- which had been more generous against Denmark last Wednesday as they lost 3-2 -- until Altidore's foul-mouthed tirade opened the door for them.

Stocker, one of the half-time substitutes, spared their blushes 10 minutes from time converting a corner from close range.

The Swiss move on to a Euro 2016 Group E qualifier double header in June away in Lithuania and then host Slovenia.

Switzerland are presently third in Group E, six points adrift of tabletoppers England with five games remaining and level on points with the Slovenes, who head them by virtue of having beaten them 1-0 in their first meeting.

Jurgen Klinsmann's USA outfit meanwhile have three high-profile friendlies to come, with perennial rivals Mexico in April, followed by European heavyweights the Netherlands and world champions Germany on June 5 and 10 respectively.

Read more on:    valentin stocker  |  soccer
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