Switzerland 5-2 Belgium: Haris Seferovic hat-trick decides thriller
Switzerland join England, Portugal and either France or Netherlands at UEFA Nations League finals
Last Updated: 19/11/18 6:02am
Haris Seferovic and Xherdan Shaqiri spearheaded a stunning Switzerland comeback as they beat Belgium 5-2 to reach the finals of the UEFA Nations League next summer.
Needing to win to finish top of Group A2, Switzerland fell 2-0 behind inside 17 minutes as Thorgan Hazard struck twice for Belgium.
However, Switzerland turned the game around as Ricardo Rodriguez scored from the penalty spot and then Seferovic netted twice to make it 3-2 at half-time.
Switzerland: Sommer (7), Klose (7), Rodriguez (7), Mbabu (7), Elvedi (6), Zuber (6), Xhaka (7), Freuler (6), Fernandes (7), Seferovic (8), Shaqiri (8)
Subs: Zakaria (6), Benito (5), Ajeti (5)
Belgium: Courtois (6), Alderweireld (5), Kompany (5), Boyata (5), Meunier (5), Tielemans (5), Witsel (5), Chadli (5), T Hazard (7), Mertens (5), E Hazard (5)
Subs: Batshuayi (5), Origi (5)
Man of the match: Haris Seferovic
With Belgium having scored twice, Switzerland needed to score again to finish top of the group on away goals.
Nico Elvedi netted the fourth in the 62nd minute from Shaqiri's cross, before Seferovic completed his hat-trick in the 86th minute after a brilliant backheeled pass from Shaqiri.
Switzerland will join England, Portugal and either France or Netherlands at the finals.
Belgium started the night as favourites to top the group and they took the lead after two minutes as Elvedi's backpass played in Thorgan Hazard and he beat Yann Sommer.
Belgium added to their lead in the 17th minute as Thorgan Hazard drove forward and fired past Sommer from the edge of the box.
It looked like a long way back for Switzerland, but two goals in five minutes pulled them back into the contest.
Rodriguez scored from the penalty spot after Nacer Chadli was penalised for a foul on Kevin Mbabu, before Shaqiri headed across the box for Seferovic to finish in the 31st minute.
Switzerland continued their comeback when Seferovic swept in a first-time shot to make it 3-2 shortly before half-time.
Belgium were without Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne and Jan Vertonghen. Eden Hazard started the match.
Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri both started for Switzerland.
Seferovic spurned a chance for a hat-trick early in the second half when he chipped wide with only Thibaut Courtois to beat.
However, Elvedi headed home to make it 4-2 and Seferovic nodded in a fifth after Shaqiri played a super backheeled pass down the right wing for Mbabu to cross into the middle.
Elsewhere on Sunday, Finland were promoted from Group C2 despite losing their final match 2-0 to Hungary. Estonia were relegated even though they finished with their first win, beating Greece 1-0.
Belarus won Group D2 after a 2-0 victory against San Marino, who finished bottom of the group with no points from their six matches.
Luxembourg finished second in the group following a 1-1 draw with Moldova.
Man of the match - Haris Seferovic
Shaqiri was superb, but Benfica striker Seferovic got the goals to drag Switzerland back into the match, scoring from Shaqiri's knockdown and then finishing brilliantly from a counter down the right. He spurned the chance of a hat-trick when he was played through early in the second half, but made amends late in the game with an expertly-taken header across goal.