Croatia, Switzerland draw

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Croatia missed three easy chances as Switzerland survived for a 0-0 tie in their Euro 2004 Group B game tonight.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:04 IST
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Croatia missed three easy chances and squandered a man advantage for almost half the game as Switzerland survived for a 0-0 tie in their Euro 2004 Group B game tonight. Niko Kovac, Josip Simunic and Ivica Olic all missed easy headers with Swiss 'keeper Joerg Stiel making an acrobatic one-handed save in the game. Olic hit the crossbar from barely three meters. The Swiss played the last 40 minutes with 10 men after the ejection of defender Johann Vogel for his second yellow card, but the Croatians failed to create any more dangers for Stiel in a poor quality game at the Dr. Magalhaes Pessoa Stadium. Two Croatians, Dado Prso and Ivica Molnar, were cautioned for diving as little went right for Otto Baric's team, which is in the same group as defending champion France and England. They played later in Lisbon. Missed chances The Swiss created the best chance of the opening 20 minutes when Alex Frei slipped free of Josip Simunic and fired a low shot from just inside the area. Croatian 'keeper Tomislav Butina failed to hold it but a defender cleared as Stephane Chapuisat threatened to pounce on the rebound. The Swiss came close again in the 25th minute when Hakan Yakin curled an inswinging corner into the danger area and Bernd Haas launched himself through a crowded area but glanced his header wide off the far post. The Croatians should have gone ahead 10 minutes before halftime when Niko Kovac was left unmarked by the Swiss defense. He jumped to reach a leftwing corner only to head over the bar with Stiel well off his line. Blunders galore There was another blunder by the Swiss when Haas played five Croatians offside and a free kick should also have led to a goal. Suminic was allowed a free header but it was brilliantly blocked by Stiel. From the rebound, Olic also had a great chance to head home but he hit the crossbar. The Swiss were down to 10 men just five minutes into the second half when Vogel kicked Tomo Sokota from behind and was ejected for his second yellow card. Mornar became the second Croatian to be cautioned for diving before he set up another chance for the Croatians. He broke clear down the right and his cross found Niko Kovac, but the Hertha Berlin midfielder completely misdirected his first time shot, which flew well wide from 16 meters (yards). The Swiss then almost snatched the lead 13 minutes from the end when Benjamin Huggel fired a 30-meter shot that 'keeper Butina pushed around the post with an unorthodox two-handed push. (AP)

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