Switzerland coach Murat Yakin praised his men for ‘pushing beyond their limits’ in the 0-0 draw with Italy and hopes this will boost their confidence.
The 0-0 result in Basel was secured thanks to Yann Sommer’s save on a Jorginho penalty, and means the battle for the top spot in Group C for the World Cup qualifiers is extremely tight.
Italy have 11 points from five games, whereas Switzerland are now on seven points and played only three matches.
Only the top team automatically qualifies for the 2022 World Cup, as the runners-up enter the play-offs.
Switzerland 0-0 Italy: Jorginho penalty miss proves costly
“We played as a real team tonight and with great solidity against a strong opponent,” said Yakin.
“Every player pushed himself beyond his limits. We didn’t start very well, but as the evening progressed, we were able to get more control of the game in the second half.
“At the end of the day, we pick up an important point that should boost our confidence. It’ll be a different match against Northern Ireland, not much time to recover, but we have the energy.”
It was particularly impressive considering Switzerland were missing so many key players, as Granit Xhaka tested positive for COVID-19, with Xherdan Shaqiri, Mario Gavranovic, Breel Embolo and Eray Cömert injured, plus Atalanta midfielder Remo Freuler suspended.