Switzerland ease past Hungary

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Switzerland ease past Hungary
Switzerland's Kwadwo Duah celebrates scoring against Hungary at Euro 2024 | Courtesy

AGENCIES | Switzerland made a flying start at Euro 2024 as Kwadwo Duah and Michel Aebischer scored their first international goals in a 3-1 win against Hungary on Saturday.

Murat Yakin's side raced into a two-goal lead by half-time in Cologne to kick off their Group A campaign in impressive fashion.

Duah opened the scoring in only his second international appearance after making his debut earlier this month.

The London-born 27-year-old, who plays for Bulgarian club Ludogorets Razgrad, holds dual citizenship with Ghana and Switzerland, who will be relieved he opted to represent them on the evidence of this dynamic display.

After providing the assist for Duah's opener, Bologna midfielder Aebischer netted his maiden Switzerland goal with an eye-catching long-range strike just before the interval.

Barnabas Varga's seventh goal in nine starts for Hungary set up a tense finale, but Breel Embolo struck in stoppage-time to seal the points.

Following reports of a rift between Yakin and his players over tactics, Switzerland captain Granit Xhaka insisted on Friday that the air had been cleared in time for the Euros.

A recent dinner with Yakin featuring "plenty of wine" healed the wounds and the Bayer Leverkusen midfielder showed his support for the manager with an influential performance.

Switzerland beat France on penalties in the last 16 at Euro 2020 before losing a shoot-out to Spain in the quarter-finals.

They will hope to emulate that memorable run after enjoying a perfect start in a group that also includes hosts Germany, who thrashed Scotland 5-1 in the tournament opener on Friday.

Switzerland face Scotland in their second game on Wednesday, while Hungary play Germany the same day.

Hungary boss Marco Rossi had urged his side to embrace the pressure of being ranked as one of Europe's emerging forces.

But their dismal first half proved fatal, showing that comparisons to Hungary's 'Mighty Magyars', who finished as runners-up at the 1954 World Cup, were rather premature.

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