Swiss make dream debut
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Switzerland kicked off their debut participation at a FIFA U-17 World Cup in winning style by recording a 2-0 triumph over Mexico in Lagos. Lazio-based midfielder Pajtim Kasami had the honour of scoring the first goal at Nigeria 2009, converting after 22 minutes as the Europeans made a dream start. An unfortunate own goal from Mexico goalkeeper Jose Rodriguez three minutes before the interval took the margin to two and, despite opportunities at both ends, it proved to be the last of the goalscoring.

Contrary to the scoreboard Mexico enjoyed far more possession than their opponents in the opening stanza, recording a mighty 66 per cent of the ball. Despite the apparent imbalance the Swiss were invariably dangerous around the penalty area, hitting the frame of the goal once in each half. Oliver Buff rocked the crossbar with a marvellous strike from outside the penalty area on 17 minutes, just prior to Kasami's left-footed opener. The lead doubled with custodian Rodriguez unable to deal adequately with a corner.

Two goals down midway through the second half, the Mexicans were desperate for a lifeline and they were duly handed one just moments after Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka's effort smashed against the post. Swiss midfielder Buff earned his second caution within five minutes and was duly given his marching orders. Mexico battled hard to reinvigorate the match but could find no way past goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist. Their hopes were finally extinguished with the dismissal of substitute striker Martin Ponce with seven minutes remaining.

The Swiss were good value for their win, displaying great concentration, teamwork and an effective physical style of play. El Tri might be beaten but they should not be bowed given the fact that the 2005 team that claimed a breakthrough U-17 world crown also lost one of their group fixtures before ultimately collecting the trophy in Peru.