In fact, for the first 50 minutes of the match Portugal looked more likely to come away with victory and keep their 100% group record intact.
Most of their forays forward were led by the wizardry of Ricardo Quaresma and Manchester United's Nani, who were two of eight players brought into the starting XI by Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Senderos pleased to restore Swiss pride
Nani, who was a nuisance down the left, came close to helping Portugal take the lead when his 35-yard free-kick was flicked on by team-mate Pepe only for it to be pushed on to the crossbar by Pascal Zuberbuhler.
Nani himself squandered Portugal's best opportunity soon after the restart when he pounced on Stephan Lichtsteiner's error only to sidefoot his 10-yard shot on to the right-hand upright with just the keeper to beat.
Former Tottenham forward Helder Postiga, in for Nuno Gomes, also wasted a fantastic opportunity to give his side the lead when his low shot inside the box was blocked by the leg of defender Philippe Senderos.
The Swiss also had two great chances in the opening 45 minutes when Ricardo was forced into tipping over Gokhan Inler's 25-yard dipping strike while Yakin saw his fierce header palmed round the post.
But Yakin finally found the net with 20 minutes of the match remaining when he was fed in by Eren Derdiyok's deft flick before calmly placing the ball under Ricardo.
And late in the game, the hard-working forward smashed home his second from the spot to delight the home fans and coach Kobi Kuhn who was overseeing his final match in charge of the Swiss.
Booked: Ferreira, Jorge Ribeiro, Fernando Meira, Miguel.
Ref: Konrad Plautz (Austria).
Switzerland booked their first ever win at the European Championship, and in so doing ended an eight-match sequence without victory.
Yakin became Switzerland's all-time top scorer at the European Championship after scoring his second and third goals of Euro 2008.
Pascal Zuberbuhler (37 years and 159 days) became the oldest player to play for Switzerland at a major tournament (European Championship and World Cup).
Zuberbuhler and Eren Derdiyok (20 years and three days) were fielded in Switzerland's starting line-up with an age difference of 17 years and 156 days.
This defeat ended Portugal's record streak of seven successive wins in group phase matches at European Championships and World Cups combined.
Also their unbeaten streak in competitive matches of 13 was ended, which was their second best such sequence ever. Their last competitive defeat before this came on 11 October 2006 in a Euro 2008 qualifier against Poland (2-1).
The 2-0 reverse marks Portugal's biggest loss at European Championships and equals their biggest defeat at a major tournament (European Championship and World Cup).
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