Switzerland missed out on an opportunity to take complete control of Group E on Friday, but given the way the final 10 minutes of their match against Norway went, they'll be happy that they didn't drop all three points. The visitors came to Switzerland and defended well for most of the match, then fought back valiantly when the finally did concede to earn a solid 1-1 draw.
The home side had control throughout the first half, but failed to generate clear scoring opportunities as the Norway defense put in a virtually flawless performance in the first 45. The second half was much more of the same, though the Norwegians were a bit more aggressive on the counter. They forced Diego Benaglio to make multiple saves or impressive claims on set piece opportunities, but the Swiss struck first.
Mario Gavranovic was the man who found the breakthrough for the home side after 79 minutes, assisted by Granit Xhaka. It appeared to be a winner at the time, given Switzerland's comfortable dominance in possession, but their luck would run out on the other end. Unsurprisingly, they conceded the equalizer on a set piece, with Brede Hangeland nodding in a John Arne Riise corner in the 81st minute.
It was Norway, not Switzerland who pushed forward for a winner in the final nine minutes-plus, and they were unlucky not to find it. Benaglio had to make one world class save on Vegard Forren, while Daniel Braaten was almost the hero with a brilliant long-range shot that beat Benaglio, but hit the post. In the end, both teams will likely feel satisfied with the draw and will consider themselves the favorites for the group's top two spots.