No Zlatan, No Problem! Sweden Go Through After A Huge Stroke Of Good luck…

Match No. 55 : Sweden (1) vs Switzerland (0)

Saint Petersburg Stadium, St. Petersburg

Match No. 55, Sweden vs Switzerland
Match No. 55, Sweden vs Switzerland

Both sides were pretty toothless in the first half as it ended 0-0. Few would say that Swiss had the better first half because they ventured more into their opponent’s box than expected. Both sides amassed over 30 attempts in the whole of the game but had only one goal to show for it. The Swiss side might feel hard done by with the manner in which they conceded the goal. But it seemed that it was the only way it could have happened for either side.

Timeline:

8′: Marcus Berg is into the penalty area but the angle is too tight for him. He slashes it over.

10′: Switzerland with a defensive error but it doesn’t cost them. Fortunately. They give their goal kick straight to Berg. Akanji blocks it to avoid any damage.

11′: Shaqiri at the other end plays Dzemaili through. But the angle is acute for him which helps the goalkeeper.

21′: The Swiss with another counter. They’re certainly not lacking intent here. It is too long for Dzemaili, who was waiting at the far post.

28′: Save by Sommer! Berg tests the keeper as he heads it for the bottom corner! First real action for either goalkeeper.

38′: Chance! Great tiki-taka from Switzerland but Dzemaili ends the move by sending the ball over the bar.

40′: Chance! And a miss by Ekdal. He was standing only 6 yards out and he volleyed iteven though he could have headed it. This could be costly.

48′: Cross comes in from the left and Toivonen and sends it way over.

66′: GOAL! SWEDEN LEAD! Forsberg receives it from the left on the edge of the box and he fires it towards goal. It is a rather tame attempt but the deflection favours him and the keeper is wrong footed.

Forsberg celebrates after scoring the goal
Forsberg celebrates after scoring the goal

69′: Ekdal tries his luck from distance but it goes way over.

71’: Switzerland are again on the attack, with Shaqiri involved for the umpteenth time. He cuts in from the right and fires it goalwards. It gets deflected behind.

80’: With 10 minutes to go, the Swiss again come close. Shaqiri with their latest corner. Embolo heads it towards the goal where Forsberg is situated to deal with it. He makes a mess of it but his captain rescues him.

85’: Rodriguez does brilliantly down the left to earn his team a corner. Shaqiri’s delivery is punched by Olsen who has been on top of his game today.

90’ + 1: SAVE! Olsen saves a header by Seferovic. He met the cross from Rodriguez.

90 + 4′: PENALTY! OR IS IT A FREE KICK? Referee consults VAR after already having sent off Michael Lang of Switzerland. Replays show contact was definitely outside the box. But it was still a goal scoring opportunity. Sweden with a free kick just outside the box.

90 + 7′: All of the discussions and formalities delay the free kick. But the free kick hits the wall. It is the last kick of the game and Sweden go through.

Sweden team celebrating after qualifying to quarters
Sweden team celebrating after qualifying to quarters

Key Players:

Marcus Berg: Had a great chance in the first half of to open the scoring. He did his best but the keeper was equal to it. He wasn’t very effective otherwise and got subbed in the second half.

Xherdan Shaqiri: The Stoke City sensation started brightly in the first half causing some problems with his quick feet and passing. He was in the thick of it in the second half too but couldn’t make a difference. By far the most influential player in the Switzerland side.

Shaqiri - Swiss star player disappointed after the match
Shaqiri – Swiss star player disappointed after the match

Player Ratings:

Sweden Switzerland
Olsen *** Sommer ***
Lustig ** Lang **
Lindelof ** Djourou **
Granqvist *** Akanji **
Augustinsson ** R. Rodriguez **
Claesson ** Behrami **
Svensson ** Xhaka **
Ekdal *** Shaqiri ***
Forsberg ** Dzemaili *
Berg * Zuber **
Toivonen ** Drmic **
Olsson *** Embolo **
Krafth ** Seferovic **

Outstanding Player:

Andreas Granqvist was a rock in the back for Sweden and made sure the Swiss didn’t score upon them. Put in a great shift as expected. He prevented a levelling goal with 10 minutes to go.

Andreas Granqvist- The otstanding player of the match
Andreas Granqvist- The otstanding player of the match

Viewer Rating: (**)

The game did not lack attacking intent. But it did lack a final killer pass and clinical finishing. One of the most poor goals of the tournament. Sweden will take it though.

Match Implication:

Sweden continue their dream journey and await the result of the England-Colombia game.

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