Yesterday Petkovic’s striker was the great protagonist of the match against Wales: a great promise that never exploded, famous for a daring escape from the police after a party
From our correspondent GB Olivero
The policemen struggled to stop him when he tried to escape on the roof of a house, unlikely that the central Wales could do it yesterday. Mepham and Rodon have surnames from crime movie patrol officers, but when Breel Embolo whizzed around them they had no weapons to block it. In January, the Swiss forward of Borussia Monchengladbach attended an illegal party due to the anticovid protocol. When the police arrived, he had escaped to the rooftops through a window and hid in another apartment before being found. This, at least, had been the reconstruction of the German newspapers while he had denied having attended the party, admitting only that he had been around. Yesterday in Baku, in front of almost 9,000 spectators of which 2,000 Welsh and 750 Swiss, there were no conflicting versions: Embolo was the great protagonist of the game and the Wales defenders were unable to stop him. Only goalkeeper Ward ruined his day with a couple of excellent saves that prevented Switzerland from winning. Embolo, after having received the award for best in the field, told about his state of mind: “I am very happy from a personal point of view. I am happy for the goal and for the performance. Too bad we were very passive for about ten minutes, we didn’t look for the deep play that would have allowed us to end the game. We have lowered ourselves too much and at these levels a corner kick is enough and everything changes. And in fact the draw with Wales changes Switzerland’s perspective in the group and above all the approach to the next matches.
Born in Cameroon and naturalized Swiss, Embolo has great qualities that he has so far expressed only in parts. He still often happens to be devastating for half an hour and then doze off on the sidelines of the game. And the discontinuity naturally angers his coaches, convinced of the potential of this 24-year-old forward. After growing up in Basel, he joined Schalke in 2016 but then remained sidelined for nearly eleven months due to a fractured left ankle. In 2019 it was bought by Borussia Moenchengladbach. Embolo had started playing as a midfielder, then was moved forward and is able to fill all offensive roles. Yesterday he scored with his head, he played on the bank, he shot, he started ball and chain from midfield, in short, he showed his entire repertoire. Petkovic will try to exploit his flashes against Mancini’s Italy on Wednesday in Rome and above all in the final match against Turkey: two matches that Switzerland will play virtually away, because many Turkish fans are expected in Baku for the next matches that the national team di Gunes will play in Azerbaijan.
June 13 – 08:59
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