Hitzfeld delight after late winner

15 June 2014 10:31

Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld hailed a dream end to their last-minute 2-1 win over Ecuador in the opening match of Group E in Brasilia.

Admir Mehmedi cancelled out Enner Valencia's first-half header before substitute Haris Seferovic scored with 23 seconds left of added time after the Swiss counter-attacked from their own penalty area.

"It was a dream end to the game for us and is very important for the morale of the team," said the 68-year-old German.

"It will give us some extra strength for the next two matches.

"I really thought this move was delightful. We reacted intuitively and knew how to take advantage of the Ecuadorian mistake (Michael Arroyo dithered over a shot and was dispossessed).

"It is marvellous to win in the last minute as it releases positive energy."

Switzerland won their first match of World Cup 2010 against Spain and still failed to get out of their group but Hitzfeld knows getting three points on the board early is important.

"We've done it and that's unbelievable," he added.

"We never stopped believing in ourselves. By the end we were having a few problems with the altitude 1,100 metres above sea level; the Ecuadorians had a lot more running left in them than us.

"I'm extremely happy with the three points and it means it's a good start."

Ecuador coach Reinaldo Rueda felt his side were unlucky not to get at least a point from the encounter.

"It was an intense and evenly-matched game. We've seen both teams perform to the best of their ability," he said.

"We seemed to have the game under control but what use is that if you end up losing?

"But that's football, although we didn't deserve to lose. Both teams went looking for the win.

"We have to get this defeat out of our heads and get ready to face two very strong opponents (France and Honduras)."

Source: PA