Switzerland's lack of intent exposed by Sweden

07 July, 2018, 08:16 | Author: Anita Tucker
  • Ludwig Augustinsson celebrates scoring for Sweden

Sweden won 1-0 through Emil Forsberg's heavily deflected shot midway through the second half, sealing a place in the last eight of a global finals for the first time in 24 years.

The first meeting between the nations at a major tournament simmered for 65 minutes in St Petersburg until Forsberg's fortunate strike handed Sweden a crucial lead.

Impressive throughout, Forsberg shimmied on the edge of the Swiss area, scuffed his shot and Manuel Akanji's outstretched leg deflected it up and over Sommer.

Olsson was pushed in the back by Lang with only Sommer to beat in injury-time, with Skomina initially awarding a penalty but changing to a free-kick after he consulted the replay.

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

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

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And Switzerland's lack of creativity in the middle helped them by and large.

Despite the intimidating presence of Swedish striker Marcus Berg, the Swiss did well to disrupt Sweden's rhythm and keep the ball to themselves, yet their continuous attacking proved fruitless. He was played in behind, but Berg sliced his effort well wide of the target in the end.

Both have enjoyed their high points in Russian Federation so far - Sweden with that emphatic second half against Mexico, Switzerland in dramatically beating Serbia - but they'll be sincerely hoping they have something left in the tank. Blerim Dzemaili and Valon Behrami will feature in midfield, while Steven Zuber and centre-forward Haris Seferovic will provide pace on the break. "The fact that they are staying on after the game, calling out and shouting my name, just makes you want to go out and thank them".

Switzerland controlled possession early as Sweden mostly defended with 10 men behind the ball when in their own half.

Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen has kept three clean sheets at the 2018 World Cup, a joint-record for a Swedish goalkeeper in World Cup finals history (also three clean sheets for Ronnie Hellstrom in 1974 and Karl Svensson in 1958).

Thus, Sweden and England defeated their rivals and will play each other in the 1/4 finals of the 2018 world Cup.

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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.

Overall, though, Switzerland are still a team very much on the up.

"We're so focused on what we're doing right now that I don't think I'm taking any of this in".

Harry Kane's second-half penalty put England ahead before Colombian defender Yerry Mina headed home in added time to send the match to an additional 30 minutes at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow.

"There was something missing in that match from us but in all the games Sweden have been involved in, their opponents have had a hard time developing the emotions and momentum you need".

A low-quality match featured some of the worst finishing seen so far at the World Cup, and two efforts stood out.

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