Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Sweden edge past Switzerland to claim World Cup quarter-final place

HECTOR RETAMAL  GettyImages HECTOR RETAMAL GettyImages
Michele Schwartz | 04 July, 2018, 07:30

"So very unfortunate, very lucky for Sweden, they scored the goal, winning the game on that and now in the in the quarter-finals". There's no doubt the Swedes will be a tough out for either England or Colombia in the quarterfinals. His first chance came after a poor clearance from Yann Sommer and the ball dropped his way after a Berg shot was blocked.

This is the first time Sweden and Switzerland are meeting in a major tournament.

Sweden's midfielder Emil Forsberg (left) celebrates a goal next to Slovenian referee Damir Skomina during their 2018 World Cup round of 16 match against Switzerland at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on July 3, 2018.

Both sides had been hampered by suspensions here too, with Switzerland more badly affected.

Picking up a pass on the edge of the penalty area, the RB Leipzig midfielder shifted the ball to his right foot and struck a low shot that deflected off Swiss defender Manuel Akanji's foot and past the wrong-footed keeper.

With six minutes remaining before the interval, Blerim Dzemaili was teed up for Switzerland's best opportunity of the half but the Bolgona playmaker sent his first-time effort from a central position over the bar.

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. "That feels unusual - during the match I'm very much focused on the game".

"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".

Johan Cruyff famously remarked that 'there is only one ball, so you need to have it, ' but Andersson has set his team up so that possession is not necessary in all circumstances, instead he prioritises his side on a well-drilled structure that frustrates the opposition without having the ball. "We know we are a good team, that we've earned our successes - we know how we got this far", the 55-year-old explained.

Switzerland came into the match as the side with arguably the greater wealth of attacking talent, but their four shots on target over the 90 minutes told its own story.

The referee first awarded a penalty but then changed his mind after consulting the video assistant referee to award a free kick, but Sommer saved Ola Toivonen's effort.

Haris Seferovic forced Olsen into a save with a powerful header as three minutes of added time were signalled but in the final minute, Switzerland were reduced to 10 men as Lang was dismissed for a professional foul on Martin Olsson. "We also congratulate the Swedish team".

"We should have done things better but we weren't good enough to win the match".

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