Switzerland forced into defensive changes for Sweden clash

04 July, 2018, 07:27 | Author: Donna Miller
  • Ludwig Augustinsson celebrates scoring for Sweden

Sweden have earned a place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup with a hard-earned 1-0 victory over Switzerland in Tuesday's clash in St Petersburg.

During the opening stages of the game, both Xherdan Shaqiri and Steven Zuber failed to threaten with long-range strikes and Sweden nearly capitalised when Marcus Berg was played through on goal, only for the forward to slice a half-volley well wide of the target. Either Colombia or England will await them in the quarter-final.

Marcus Berg was guilty of missing some glorious chances for Sweden, who looked toothless in attack.

Forsberg's second-half strike, which deflected off the unfortunate Manuel Akanji, means Sweden are through to the World Cup last eight for the first time since 1994 in the United States.

It goes without saying both nations were never expected to reach this stage of the finals, not least Sweden, who topped Group F ahead of defending champions Germany, who have since departed.

Sweden's midfielder Emil Forsberg celebrates scoring during the match between Sweden and Switzerland at the Saint Petersburg Stadium on July 3, 2018.

Switzerland's best opening led to Blerim Dzemaili shooting over.

Emil Forsberg delivered the victor in the 66th minute when the RB Leipzig winger's shot from the edge of the penalty area was deflected past Yann Sommer.

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Andersson also said his team was not satisfied yet.

Boos and whistles rang around the St Petersburg stadium as early as the 25th minute, with both Swedish and Swiss fans alike left irate by the lack of quality and attacking verve on display.

However, it is not just goals that Janne Andersson is expecting from his talisman, as Forsberg brings so much more to his game than just his final product. "Even if he doesn't succeed in every part of his game, he does very well".

"We've worked this way throughout, we're continuing the same way, and what other teams and countries think about that is not terribly interesting".

Switzerland started off their World Cup campaign in impressive fashion as they came from behind to register a 1-1 draw against the mighty Brazil courtesy of a Steven Zuber goal.

The referee gave Lang a red card and at first awarded a penalty to the Swedes, but changed his mind after consulting the video assistant referee (VAR) and instead awarded a free kick.

"This team personifies the approach we all share - we work for each other on and off the pitch, and I'm incredibly happy that it's paying off", Andersson told reporters.

"They have done precisely what they're very good at", Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic said, "and that might have been enough to beat us".

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