Emil Forsberg of Sweden (L) reacts with Mikael Lustig of Sweden (R) after scoring the 1-0 during the FIFA World Cup 2018 round of 16 soccer match between Sweden and Switzerland in St.Petersburg, Russia, 03 July 2018.
Tuesday Jul 03, 2018. 18:02
Sweden edged Switzerland 1-0 in a 2018 World Cup last 16 clash at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday afternoon.
The ‘Blue-Yellow’ clinched a place in the last eight against either England or Colombia thanks to Emil Forsberg’s deflected goal 21 minutes into the second stanza.
The first half saw the teams trade chance after chance, though the poor level of finishing meant goalkeepers Robin Olsen and Yann Sommer were rarely called upon to make any notable interventions.
The only good save through all of the first half came from Switzerland’s Sommer, who dived full length to his right to keep out a left-footed effort from Swedish striker Marcus Berg in the 28th minute.
Switzerland wasted fine chances through Steven Zuber and Blerim Dzemaili, who missed with a header and right-footed shot in the 24th and 38th minutes respectively, while another good chance for Sweden saw Albin Ekdal volley high and wide from Mikael Lustig’s cross a few minutes before the break.
The ‘Blue-Yellow’ claimed the lead in the 66th minute, with winger Emil Forsberg coming inside off the left flank and shooting on goal from the ‘D’ of the penalty area. His effort was headed straight for the ‘keeper, but took a wicked deflection off defender Manuel Akanji to find its way into the back of the net.
Forsberg made another important play in the 80th minute, as he helped defend a goal-bound effort from a Switzerland corner kick, before skipper Andreas Granqvist hacked the ball clear from the danger zone.
Switzerland’s final chance arrived in the first minute of injury time as Haris Seferovic got on the end of a cross from Ricardo Rodriguez, but Olsen made a relatively comfortable low save to confirm his side’s victory.
Things went from bad to worse for the team in red when Michael Lang brought down Martin Olsson on a counter attack and was shown a red card. A penalty was initially awarded for the incident, but then rescinded by VAR.
Sweden (0) 1 (Forsberg 66’)
Sweden: Olsen, Lustig (Krafth 82’), Lindelof, Granqvist, Augustinsson, Claesson, Svensson, Ekdal, Forsberg (Olsson 82’), Berg (Thelin 90’), Toivonen
Switzerland: Sommer, Lang, Djourou, Akanji, Rodriguez, Behrami, Xhaka, Shaqiri, Dzemaili (Seferovic 73’), Zuber (Embolo 73’), Drmic