Ahmed Mehmedi rises up for Switzerland in draw vs. Romania

Switzerland could well have done enough to reach the round of 16 after hitting back for a 1-1 draw against Romania. It was a reasonably entertaining match, yet a strangely unsatisfying display from the Swiss who once again left the impression that they are not quite living up to their potential.

Xherdan Shaqiri was disappointing, showing only the briefest glimpses of his talent, and Granit Xhaka, while solid in midfield, fell short of the very high expectations created by his big money move to Arsenal.

Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):

GK Yann Sommer, 8 -- A safe pair of hands again, not that he had much to do after the first half hour. Made one very good save from Gabriel Torje's wickedly swerving long-range shot in the second half. His distribution of the ball is very much safety-first.

DF Stephan Lichtsteiner, 5 -- He gave away the penalty by tugging an opponent's shirt, clearly thinking he could get away with it as he did in a similar incident against Albania on Saturday. A player with five Serie A titles under his belt should know better. Partly atoned for that with his incessant running down the right flank where his crosses created two of the best chances.

DF Fabian Schar, 7 -- A reasonably solid performance and looked confident on the ball.

DF Johan Djourou, 7 -- Considerably better than his error-strewn outing against Albania, he made some timely interventions including one very good clearance from a Torje cross when it looked for all the world as if he would score an own goal.

DF Ricardo Rodgriguez, 7 -- Plenty of chances to show off his prowess at free kicks, although he could have made more of them. Much more of an attacking presence than he was against Albania.

MF Valon Behrami, 6 -- A typically hard-working, selfless Behrami performance in front the defence, though his distribution of the ball was unimaginative.

MF Granit Xhaka, 7 -- In statistical terms, an excellent performance, with 68 completed passes from 79 attempted, according to UEFA. Too many of those, however, went sideways or backwards as he struggled to escape the Romanian pressing midfield. Not a bad performance by any stretch, and he made an important contribution defensively, but did not quite live up to the hype.

MF Xherdan Shaqiri, 6 -- Exasperating. There were moments when he ran at defenders and it was almost possible to justify the "Alpine Messi" tag. But this was overall a very disappointing performance. Too many final balls were wasted; one free kick went flying over the bar, another into the wall and his attempted bicycle kick never looked like coming off.

MF Blerim Dzemaili, 7 -- Another lively performance and he was involved in some of the best Swiss moves, though he sent a first-half header wide from an excellent position and will probably regret an outrageous attempted volley in the second half.

MF Ahmed Mehmedi, 8 -- Hardly noticed for the first 57 minutes when almost everything he tried failed to pay off. But he made up for all that with a superbly-taken goal, steadying himself as the ball looped into the air to rifle his shot into the roof of the net. You are unlikely to see a cleaner hit in the tournament.

FW Haris Seferovic, 4 -- The culprit once again, missing two early chances which could have changed the course of the game. You could argue that he at least gets into position, and there was some nimble footwork to create the first chance, but that doesn't cut much ice at this level. Replaced by Breel Embolo in the second half and will be lucky to keep his place.


FW Breel Embolo, 7 -- A more physically imposing presence than Seferovic, he added a new dimension to the Swiss attack and gave the Romanian defence something to think about. Missed one good chance when he headed wide, but deservers a place in the starting line-up.

MF Michael Lang, NR -- Replaced Dzemaili in the 83rd minute.

FW Shani Tarashaj, NR -- Replaced Shaqiri in injury time.