- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 14, 2016

PARIS (AP) - Hitting the ground running at the European Championship, Switzerland can be the first team to advance to the knockout rounds on Wednesday.

A second Swiss win, against Romania at the Parc des Princes in Paris, and a six-point tally will guarantee the team’s qualification into the round of 16.

Coach Vladimir Petkovic long-ago set a target of advancing from the group stage with a game to spare, and “write a great chapter” in the team’s history at the European Championship.

“Switzerland has never succeeded in winning two group matches,” Petkovic said on Tuesday through a translator. “That would be something.”

Switzerland had only one win in its three previous Euros - and then only after being quickly eliminated when co-hosting in 2008, against a Portugal team without Cristiano Ronaldo.

After opening Saturday with a solid, if unspectacular, 1-0 win over Albania, a draw would likely be enough for the team to progress in the new and forgiving 24-team format.

Not for Petkovic though.

“That’s not who I am as a coach,” said the Bosnia-born coach. “I don’t demand the minimum objective from my sides. We want the maximum three points.”

Switzerland’s upcoming opponent impressed in losing 2-1 to a France team carried by Dimitri Payet at the Stade de France last Friday.

“We saw the match against France and they might have won the game,” Petkovic said noting Romania’s team-first values without praising any individuals.

Swiss midfielder Valon Behrami, a starter in the 2008 campaign, went further in his judgment of the teams’ qualities. Romania had the meanest defense of the entire qualifying program by conceding only two goals in 10 matches.

“In front we have more talented players than them,” Behrami said. “But it’s not easy to create something in qualification like they did.”

Romania coach Anghel Iordanescu, now in his third spell with the national team, acknowledged having had concern about the “physical and psychological recuperation” of his players after the draining effort against France.

“From this point of view we are concerned, nevertheless we are satisfied that we could score against good teams,” he said through a translator.

The veteran coach appeared testy when asked about a sports daily report back home that substitute Denis Alibec did not warm up early in the second half of the match against France because he was having a cigarette in the locker room. The forward eventually came on in the 61st minute.

“I don’t defend Alibec,” Iordanescu said. “I think it is difficult to say what he really did, I was on the pitch.”

A draw for Romania wouldn’t be a huge problem, as its last Group A match is against Albania, which will take place at the same time the Swiss face the French.

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