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Sweden beats Switzerland 1-0 in the Round of 16 match

07 July, 2018, 08:17 | Author: John Swanson
  • Ludwig Augustinsson celebrates scoring for Sweden

With the game deadlocked, Forsberg found space on the edge of the area and his 66th-minute shot looped in off defender Manuel Akanji to set up a clash with either Colombia or England.

The second half began just like the first, with Sweden looking the most likely team to score. It's the third time in four games Switzerland has conceded the opening goal.

Sweden were initially awarded a penalty for that offence but it was changed to a free-kick on the edge of the box after a review by VAR. Of these, only the Swiss are in the top 10 of Fifa's rankings.

Moments later it was Sweden's turn to threaten, Marcus Berg put through but sending his attempted half-volley from an angle wildly off target. A header would have been a much better option.

But it was not just the Swedes who were guilty of profligacy in front of goal. Blerim Dzemaili and Valon Behrami will feature in midfield, while Steven Zuber and centre-forward Haris Seferovic will provide pace on the break.

Having helped boot reigning champions Germany out of the competition in the group stage, the Swedes have now disposed of what was the highest-ranked team left in the bottom-half of the draw.

Underestimate them at your peril.

Both sides were guilty of squandering good chances in the two halves. The trouble was, against Sweden, another very organised outfit, they were played at their own game.

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In keeping with Andersson's emphasis on a team ethic for a squad lacking in individual star talent following Zlatan Ibrahimovic's retirement from global football, Forsberg has had to sacrifice some of his qualities for the team.

Both teams are chasing history when they meet in the all-important pre-quarter-final today.

And having not reached the last eight at the World Cup for 64 years, Switzerland were favourites to win a tie against supposedly limited opponents.

Xherdan Shaqiri looked to pull the strings for Switzerland and he imposed himself on the game early by delivering unsafe balls for Blerim Dzemaili and Josip Drmic, but neither could make the majority.

With 10 minutes to go, Embolo had a header scrambled away from nearly on the line by Forsberg who, along with Lustig, was substituted in a double change as time ticked away, Emil Krafth and Martin Olsson coming on.

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

After the victory against Switzerland, Andersson deflected a question about whether Sweden is starting to think about winning its first World Cup.

If it beats Sweden, Switzerland would reach the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time since 1954.

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Sweden are unbeaten in their last three games against Switzerland (W1 D2) although their last encounter was in March 2002 (1-1). They had failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their group matches, and it showed.

Forsberg scored his first World Cup goal for Sweden with his 14th shot of the tournament.

They are World Cup quarter-finalists, Switzerland not quite swatted aside in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday, rather ground down and eliminated. No other player had had more without scoring.

But anyone who has followed Switzerland closely over the past two years will not be surprised by the team's progress to the pre-quarterfinals, reports Xinhua news agency. We clearly wanted to do more. "We're best at maximising".

"We're not satisfied with this: we want to win the next match as well. But in the end it wasn't enough". We know that we are a good team and that we have earned our successes.

"We've been very fortunate so far, that is true, but what we've seen throughout the tournament is that in spells we have been playing very well", Petkovic said on the eve of the match.

"We're going to focus on one thing when we've digested this victory, and that's the game on Saturday". Find us on Facebook too!

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