Sweden and Switzerland are probably two of the most interesting teams in the World Cup this year.
In that both teams seem to be lowly rated compared to others yet have given impressive performances in their road to qualification.
With Xherdan Shaqiri leading the Swiss and Emil Forsberg controlling the Vikings, the match took place in Zenit’s home ground at the Saint Petersburg Stadium.
This was indeed a nerve-racking game as both sides had a handful of solid chances that could and SHOULD have been converted.
The Swedes were close to an opener in the first 10 minutes as their continuous press of the Swiss backline almost led to a rocket going in.
However, when in contact with the ball Albin Ekdal’s shot went wide as it hit his outer foot to the disappointment of the Blagult.
Switzerland were quick to respond as main man Shaqiri crossed the ball into the opposing box minutes later. It went over Valon Behrami’s head, however.
Just before the half hour mark, a huge chance for Sweden was denied by Swiss goalie Yann Sommer.
After Marcus Berg was fed the ball from a heap of passes, his shot on goal was saved by the fingertip of the Borussia Mönchengladbach number one.
Despite the goal scares, Switzerland were still in the game as in the closing minutes of the first half, Granit Xhaka let one fly almost 40 yards out.
Though wide from goal, it was a great effort from the Arsenal midfielder.
The first half ended level as fans were frustrated by the lack of chance conversion.
Sweden looked very much in control at the second half from not only great runs but keeping the ball in the Swiss side.
The Swedes were making interceptions near Sommer’s box, trying to cross the ball in and find one of their own players.
Forsberg was playing well for his side; making a breakthrough just after the hour mark.
After Ola Toivonen slipped the ball towards Forsberg, the Leipzig midfielder had a crack on goal.
The ball had a huge deflection off of Switzerland’s Manuel Akanji as it went past the keeper and into the net.
Shaqiri kept on pushing for his team to find an equaliser right up until stoppage time but the visitors couldn’t find leeway.
After an initial penalty call by the referee and a sending off in extra time, VAR had to be used to switch the officials’ decision to award a free kick inches from the box.
With Switzerland’s Michael Lang sent off in the closing minutes, Sweden qualify to the quarter finals.
Source of Image: @FIFAWorldCup (Twitter)
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