England started the opening game of the European Championships as predicted playing four at the back, and leaving out captain and the highest goalscorer in the squad, David Platt. With Platt missing Venables placed a high order on Shearer who hadn't scored an international goal in his last 14 appearances. This is the game which England saw their best chance in the group of going away with maximum points, especially with Swiss coach Jorge eliminating Switzerland's two most successful players Sutter and Knup, from his squad selection. Scotland and Holland are England's other opponents in Group A.
England made a lively start to the game, McManaman dashed down the left, causing problems for the Swiss defence, and Pearce troubled the visitors with a long throw. Sheringham received the throw-in, gave it to Anderton who hit the ball towards the goal but Pascolo was there to make a relatively easy save.
Switzerland also began in spritely mood when Tyrkilmaz ran past Adams in a move which looked worrying to England, but Gary Neville and Gareth Southgate prevented Seaman from having to make the save. Danger came for England later when Switzerland were awarded a corner but an unmarked Sforza'a attempt went over the bar.
Seeking to obtain control of the game, the Euro '96 hosts tried to take the lead but Pascolo was able to punch away McManaman's low shot, which went to Neville who fired the ball from 25 yards. The Swiss 'keeper put the ball over
Mid-way through the first half Gascoigne and Shearer combined with Ince to break the deadlock. Shearer ended the move when he thumped the ball in off the near post. This broke is goal drought for England, his first since September 1994.
England could have gone 2-0 up 8 minutes later when Gascoigne's ball to McManaman was played back to Pearce who found Shearer, but the striker headed the ball wide of the right post.
Looking increasingly comfortable now England were nearly caught off guard when TYrkylimaz went past Pearce. TYrkilmaz worked the ball to team-mate Grassi but the Swiss striker hit the bar from just 6 yards out.
Just before the half-time break England tried to extend their lead when Pearce found Sheringham open from his free-kick. Unfortunately the Spur's player headed the ball the Pascolo.
Early in the scond half Shearer saw another good opportunity go begging when he blasted from 20 yards. The ball just went wide of the post.
In the 70th minute Venables put on three pairs of fresh legs to liven England's performance. Barmby, Platt and Stone made appearances to take over from Sheringham, Gascoigne and McManaman.
Despite these necessary changes to tried players England found themselves on level terms with the Swiss 8 minutes from time. Since England's substitutions, Vogel joined the visitors attack and England at times were pushed to cope with the strengthened front line. Although it wasn't deliberate, Pearce was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area and TYrkyilmaz converted the spot-kick to even the match.
England frantically tried to restore their lead and Ince played his part when he tried a shot which demanded a great save from Pascolo. This was to be England's last attempt to win the points. Switzerland also went close to having a shock win moments from the final whistle but Seaman saved magnificently from Grassi. In the end sharing the points was a fair result.
In an after-match interview England coach Terry Venables said "We haven't played well in the second half. We were dead on our feet. In fact both teams looked very tired after half time. It's not the result we were looking for. We did well enough in the first half and I thought we were going on to a better game in the second, but we just didn't play. Our passing was poor and we've got to get that better." And when questioned about whether England could still win the Championship he said "Absolutely. We're not going to win every game by several goals and just fly through. It's going to be hard. We know we've got it all to do. I've told them (the players) what I felt, and now we've got a week to pick it up. It was always going to be a difficult game against the Scots, and now, because we haven't go the three points we hoped for here, it's going to be that much more important next week."
Seaman, G Neville, Adams, Southgate, Pearce, Anderton, Ince, Gascoigne (Platt 77 mins), McManaman (Stone 67 mins), Sheringham (Barmby 67 mins), Shearer.
Subs Not Used: Campbell, L Ferdinand, Flowers, Fowler, Howey, P Neville, Redknapp, Walker.
Pascolo, Geiger (Koller 67 mins), Vega, Henchoz, Quentin, Bonvin (Chapuisat 66 mins), Sforza, Vogel, Grassi, Jeanneret, Turkyilmaz.
Sub Not Used: Comisetti, Corminboeuf, Fournier, Lehmann, Rothenbuhler, Sesa, Sylvestre, Wicky.
England Scorers: Shearer (23 mins)
Switzerland Scorers: Turkyilmaz (83 mins - pen
England Cautions: G Neville, Adams
Switzerland Cautions: Vogel, Quentin, Grassi, Vega
Referee: Manuel Diaz Vega (Spain)