In this series we take a “quick” no-nonsense look at a given game, highlighting impressive kits, intriguing stadium architecture, and whatever else interesting that we can find. But must importantly, the supporters and their actions.
Click here for the previous installment with Parma’s visit to Vitesse in 1994. But now – on a date that would become noteworthy on exactly ten years to the day – we go back to when Switzerland welcomed the Scottish horde for a European qualifier in 1991.
The early-mid 90s were a time in which Scotland and Switzerland would get to know each other well. Before our featured European qualifier game in September 1991, they had already clashed in Glasgow the previous October in the reverse fixture, and a month later in October 1991 Celtic were paired with Neuchatel Xamax in the UEFA Cup.
The two national teams had also been drawn together for the World Cup ’94 qualifiers and so would continue to play each other for a further two consecutive Septembers. The fixture came up again two years later at Euro 96, but after this it would be another ten years until the sides would next meet.
The Euro 92 qualifying group was a tough one with Romania and Bulgaria also strongly in the running, leaving only San Marino as the only team with no real chance of taking the one qualification spot up for grabs. With the two East Balkan countries not far behind, the game on September 11th in Berne was crucial for both teams and played on front of a suitably hot crowd.
- Switzerland vs Scotland
- Euro ’92 Qualifier
- UEFA Group 2
- Wankdorfstadion, Berne, Switzerland
- 42,012 spectators
As the teams are coming out we get our first shots of the crowd, with plenty of colour from both home and away fans:
The ever popular yellow and red Royal Banner/Lion Rampant flag of Scotland is well represented:
There is also pyro from the Swiss supporters, but equally notable is the celtic cross flag visible on the left – a well regocgnised symbol of right-wing nationalism in Europe:
Meanwhile, Scottish banners are being hung on the fence at the other end – the way they should be:
As the teams line up for the anthems, a flare can just about be seen in the left corner of the ground:
The small group of people to the left of the marching band is actually one of the best things on show, as it turns out to be a group of children fantastically dressed in Swiss league club kits, interspersed with national strips:
Speaking of kits, we should look at the teams. As the visitors, the Scottish anthem is first and here get a look at their classic early 90s goal keeper jersey – a category that we love (who doesn’t?):
The Swiss are even more 90s in their attire, wearing a unique kit made for them by little known manufacturer Blacky. This relationship came in between their stints with Adidas and Lotto:
The diagonal shoulder and shorts strips, as well as triangular brand logo, are all quite of reminiscent of Adidas’ new Equipment template from the time. But with the Swiss shirt having debuted the year before, perhaps inspiration had been drawn from the style to create the new Adidas look. Apart from the giant Swiss cross in the middle that is:
On the bench, a Swiss coach is also decked out in an interesting training top which looks extremely similar to Chelsea’s Umbro made away shirt of the time, suggesting more plagiarism somewhere. The word Suisse is across the torso:
During the Swiss anthem red and white strips of material are unfurled in the fanatics section, and again the celtic-cross flag in the national-scoialism style is visible:
We then get a good look at the packed away section, with plenty of banners at the front:
One of which states “Pencaitland Boys Are In Berne; Pencaitland being a tiny village near Edinburgh:
While the captains shake hands and the team sheets are shown, we can see that more pyro is going off in the Swiss end:
The ground itself, the Wankdorf (unfortunately now demolished and rebuilt as the Stade de Suisse), has some interesting features. A wide gap at the half way line divides the supporters into two main enclosures opposite the main camera:
Large towers covered in advertising occupy at least two corners of the ground:
The Scottish section is separated from the home fans by a tunnel behind the goal and is noticeably more dense in bodies:
In the space of eight mins in the first half, the Swiss go 2-0 up. As the team celebrate one of the goals in heaving mass on the pitch while their manager pumps his fist, we also get a look at an excellent Adidas tracksuit being worn by what we assume is the extra UEFA official:
As half-time is blown for, the home fans celebrate what looks set to be a comfortable win to help propel them to their first Euros:
After the break it is evident that there has been more pyro, as clouds drift from the home end and linger above the pitch:
But it would be the away fans who next have cause to celebrate as their side pull one back only two minutes after the restart. We get a nice panning shot of the jubilation that occurs in the immediate aftermath:
And then in the 83rd minute, Allie McCoist scores the equaliser for Scotland. Chaos in the away sector:
The game ends 2-2 with the result clearly favouring the visitors, who’s supporters celebrate as if a victory has been claimed:
We are curious to know what the red flag with a yellow circle that raises from the left is. If you know, as always give us a shout:
The draw would secure an important point for Scotland and the slip-up from the home side that would cost them and their fellow group rivals badly. As despite next losing 1-0 away to Romania, the Scots would end up topping the group on 11 points – only one point ahead of both the Swiss and Romanians.