Yesterday, Swiss forward Alexander Frei become his country’s all-time leading scorer in international play when he scored his 34th and 35th all-time goals. His brace came in a 3-0 victory against neighbor Liechtenstein in St. Gallen. It was Switzerland’s final warm-up before they co-host UEFA’s Euro 2008 tournament. Switzerland coach Jakob Kuhn used the same lineup that had worked so well against Slovakia. Holding midfielder Gelson Fernandes played a vital role for the Swiss in the match and he should enjoy a breakout campaign at Euro 2008.
Frei, the Borussia Dortmund striker and Swiss captain, scored last week in a friendly against Slovakia to put him at 33 international goals. Prior to yesterday’s match, Kubilay Turkyilmaz owned the record for international goals with 34.
Frei vaulted over Turkyilmaz for the record after 31 minutes of play. He scored first via a header and then eight minutes later found the net again shooting past Liechtenstein goalkeeper Peter Jehle. The 18,000 person sell-out crowd erupted into cheers for their hero at the new St Gallen stadium. Red Bull Salzburg’s Johan Vonlanthen added the final goal in the 68th minute. Coach Kuhn stated after the match, “He deserved to beat [the record].”
Switzerland tackles the Czech Republic in their first Group A match-up on June 7th.