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The U17 are the first Swiss selection to make the final of a meaningful competition since 1924 (Final of the Olympics).
Switzerland beat England 3-0 today and will face France in the final. France beat Spain with penalty kicks in the other semi-final. The final will be shown live on Eurosport on Friday...
 

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Swiss youngsters make history

Wednesday 8th May 2002

The Swiss Under-17s have become the first Swiss side ever to reach an international final after brushing aside a previously unbeaten English side.

Pride is gradually being restored in Swiss football. As the under-21s prepare to contest the European Championships on home soil, the Swiss Under-17s have become the first Swiss side ever to reach an international final

"We knew we had a good team, but I could never have imagined such a great achievement before the tournament," confessed the Swiss coach Markus Frei.

Since arriving at the championships in Denmark, the Swiss have scored 12 goals and conceded just two in five matches. Their latest success was a 3-0 win against England, who had not conceded a goal in their previous three games.

"Basically, we have good players, but with these talented individuals, we have built a real team - that's what's seen us through," Frei said.

"As is often the case in Switzerland, we have a sound defence, but this year, we're just as strong going forward," he explained.

In the final Frei's boys will face the French, who they have already beaten in the group stages.

"We must try to put that match put of our minds. The circumstances are very different - we had already qualified, and so had the French virtually," the coach said.
 

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The final starts in just about 30 minutes in Farum :excited:. I hope the Swiss put in a good show and i think that they have a even money chance of winning. They beat France in the group stage 2-1 and Portugal (who have always been strong at this level) were also in the group. I think France have had the tougher run in the knockout phase having to play both Germany and Spain although England (who were conquered by the Swiss in the semi) ran out easy 4-1 winners against the Iberians in the 3rd place game, although i am not sure how much to read into that :undecide: :)


I just hope Switzerland are not intimidated by public expectation and having so much riding on this game :nervous:

Whatever happens, the future for Swiss football looks positive provided these players are looked after and developed appropriately :hopefull: :)

Apparently Switzerland's strength is in their strong counterattacking abilities according to Uefa's Preview of the final which stated that it would "be interesting to see what happens if Switzerland take the lead in the final because of this [counterattacking skill]

Uefa also has a piece on the thoughts of the Swiss coach Marcus Frei in the Training ground section
 
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