Granit Xhaka (C-L) of Switzerland and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (C-R) of Serbia in action during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group E preliminary round soccer match between Serbia and Switzerland in Kaliningrad, Russia, 22 June 2018.
Friday Jun 22, 2018. 22:32
Switzerland came from a goal down to beat Serbia 2-1 in their second Group E contest of the 2018 FIFA World Cup at Kaliningrad Stadium on Friday night.
Serbia started their group stage assignments with a win over Costa Rica and were looking for a second win to reach the knockout stages for the first time.
On the other hand, the Swiss side opened with a draw against Brazil and were also hoping to win to boost their Last 16 qualification aspirations.
However, it was Serbia that broke the deadlock in the first five minutes of the tie when Aleksandar Mitrovic rose above the Swiss defence to convert a cross from Dusan Tadic on the right.
Switzerland came close to bagging an equaliser in the 30th minute, but Blerim Dzemaili was denied by goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic from a close range.
Serbia managed to protect their lead going to the tunnel.
Upon their return, Granit Xhaka netted a brilliant left-footed piledriver to beat Stojkovic on his left corner to level the matters in the 52nd minute.
In their dominance, Switzerland nearly took the lead through Xherdan Shaqiri whose effort shaved the top corner of the cross bar towards the hour mark.
Both camps made changes in the second half and Breel Embolo tried a long range effort which was collected by Stojkovic on the second attempt in the 81st minute.
Right in the 90th minute, Shaqiri netted a winner for Switzerland as they launched a swift counter attack to gain the lead.
The Swiss side held on to their lead to move to second spot in the group with four points whilst Serbia sit third with three points.
Serbia: (1) 1 (Mitrovic 5’)
Switzerland: (0) 2 (Xhaka 52’, Shaqiri 90’)
Serbia: Stojkovic, Kolarov, Ivanovic, Milenkovic, Tosic, Milivojevic (Radonjic 81’), Tadic, Milinkovic-Savic, Kostic (Ljajic 64’), Mitrovic, Matic
Switzerland: Sommer, Lichtsteiner, Schar, Akanji, Rodriguez, Dzemaili (Embolo 72’), Zuber (Drmic 90’), Behrami, Xhaka, Shaqiri, Seferovic (Gavranovic 46’)