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Switzerland salvage win against Slovenia

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Basel (Switzerland), Sep 6 (IANS) Switzerland turned defeat into victory in the closing minutes here, substitute Josip Drmic putting the finishing touch to a remarkable success which strengthened his side’s hold on second place in the 2016 Euro Group E.

A Switzerland team with seven Bundesliga players in their line-up looked to have proceedings under control in a first half they dominated on Saturday.

However, some stout Slovenian defending ensured that the closest the hosts came to an opener was Timm Klose’s close-range attempt which was superbly denied by Samir Handanovic, reports uefa.com.

Heading into first-half stoppage time, Slovenia capitalised on a rare counter, Josip Ilicic threading through for Milivoje Novakovic to chip over Sommer and give Srecko Katanec’s men a surprise lead.

Minutes after the restart, the Swiss crowd was stunned into silence again, Boltjan Cesar wrestling to beat his man in the box and nod in Valter Birsa’s corner to make it 2-0.

It could easily have been another goal three moments later but Ilicic’s flick was foiled by Sommer.

Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic threw on strikers Breel Embolo and Drmic in an attempt to force a breakthrough at the other end, and the two combined to cut the gap to 2-1 on 80 minutes.

Spirits were soaring four minutes later as Xherdan Shaqiri clipped the ball back from the touchline for another substitute, Valentin Stocker, to equalise.

Amazingly, there was more drama to come.

With Slovenia off balance in the dying seconds, Fabian Schar tried his luck, his low shot fended away by a defender but only as far as Drmic, who finished from close range.

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