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Emil Forsberg ousts Switzerland and sends Sweden into World Cup last eight

06 July, 2018, 21:21 | Author: Candice Daniels
  • Russia 2018 Watch: Sweden roll over Switzerland in World Cup last-16 tie | Football

The Scandinavian side finally killed the game in the last minute of stoppage time, Martin Olsson getting Michael Lang sent off for a deliberate denial of a goalscoring opportunity on the top of the Swiss penalty area.

Tensions were high throughout the first and second half leading to a combined total of 31 fouls and nine yellow cards.

The bottom half of the draw at the World Cup offers a superb opportunity for a relatively unfancied team to reach the final.

The Swiss had suffered just one defeat in their last 25 matches - a defeat to my beloved Portugal in the qualifiers, which meant that the Portuguese qualified for the tournament automatically while Switzerland had to progress via a play-off against Northern Ireland, which was won through a controversial penalty.

At the St Petersburg Stadium, the Swiss were barely left them with an option to play their preferred way, thereby resorting to football's most basic method of chance creation - crossing.

Marcus Berg was particularly guilty, with the Al Ain striker shanking one effort off target, seeing another blocked by Akanji and Sommer tip away a third at full stretch.

Blerim Dzemaili should have done better when he blazed over from 16 yards out after running onto Zuber's cutback from the right on 39 minutes, and it nearly proved costly as the Blagult went close on two occasions moments later. They topped a group including defending champions Germany.

Underestimate them at your peril.

No. 6-ranked Switzerland had more of the possession but created few clear-cut chances against the well-drilled Sweden defense.

They were organised and obdurate, playing with a discipline that allowed them to frustrate the Swiss and try to strike on the counter.

It took over an hour for the first goal to arrive, and for all the clear chances there had been in the game, it came courtesy of a deflected strike.

Only had 22 touches over the 90 minutes.

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Petkovic made some critical changes to his side for the game; though he would point out they were enforced.

Granit Xhaka's raking passes failed to open up the Swedes while Xherdan Shaqiri's scuttling forays down the right wing were also ineffective as he invariably overhit his crosses into the area.

Haris Seferovic - Joined Drmic up front in the final 15 minutes and tested Robin Olsen with a header.

It seems to wrong to single out an individual when victory was the effect of a strong team dynamic but central defender and skipper Andreas Granqvist epitomised all that was good about his team.

The last time Sweden made it this far at the World Cup was in 1994, when the team reached the semifinals.

Switzerland are unbeaten in Russian Federation following draws against Brazil and Costa Rica and a dramatic win over Serbia meaning the world's 6th ranked side have only been defeated in one of their last 25 games (W17, D7). His goal was the first of his World Cup campaign and despite the deflection, was well deserved for his performances so far.

Achilles, a white-furred Hermitage male cat reputed to have psychic powers, has predicted that Switzerland's team will win a match vs Sweden in the FIFA World Cup's Round of 16 in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.

As has been evident throughout the tournament, Sweden's physicality proved too much with another professional and resolute display sending them through.

Peter Schmeichel says Sweden's deflected goal which earned them a World Cup win over Switzerland and a place in the quarter-finals was "lucky", but added the Swedes won't mind how they booked their place in the last eight.

"I hope we can learn", said Shaqiri, who would still be only 31 and at his fourth World Cup in Qatar next time. His team would surprise people, he said. We clearly wanted to do more. "But in the end it wasn't enough". "We make sure we work hard for each other on and off the pitch".

Switzerland will be going into the clash without centre-back Fabian Schar and right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner, who are both facing one-game bans.

"I'm so proud to see what we're achieving together", Forsberg said.

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