Sweden edge Switzerland to reach first W’Cup Q’final in 24yrs

Sweden edge Switzerland to reach first W’Cup Q’final in 24yrs

Forsberg has been tasked with taking over the creative mantle since Zlatan Ibrahimovic retired from worldwide football two years ago and the 26-year-old delivered when it mattered.

Sweden midfielder Emil Forsberg celebrates his goal against Switzerland at the World Cup on July 3.

A deflected goal from Emil Forsberg in the second half was enough to earn Sweden a 1-0 victory over Switzerland in their FIFA World Cup round of 16 clash in St. Petersburg.

The Swiss certainly weren't playing like a team ranked sixth the world and with only one loss in their previous 25 games.

Sweden has now seen off The Netherlands from their qualifying group, Italy in a playoff, Germany in their group stage and the Swiss in the final 16 prompting questions whether other countries have underestimated their ability.

Janne Andersson's team then routed Mexico 3-0 to secure top spot in their group. That 1994 side, the World Cup bronze medalists, could soon have company.

"We want to win the next match as well. We didn't find any fluidity and we got stuck in the middle", he said.

That they will be.

England keeper Jordan Pickford made a superb save to touch wide a furious long shot by Uribe but from the following corner - Colombia's first of the match - giant defender Mina rose highest to head in the equaliser and send the massed Colombian fans into a frenzy. Eyes closed, he knew it represented a very presentable chance.




After a slow start, and Lustig's foul on Josip Drmic, Switzerland grew in confidence and should have scored when Blerim Dzemaili snatched at Steven Zuber's pull-back. He was seven yards out.

After Ola Toivonen blasted over for Sweden, the Swiss went on the rampage, winning four consecutive corners. Yet, on 66 minutes, they finally broke through.

Forsberg's scruffy shot from the edge of the area was likely heading straight for Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer, but it took a deflection off the boot of center back Manuel Akanji and landed in the net. No player has tried more without scoring. A minute later Switzerland were up the other end of the field and nearly equalised. Breel Embolo, a second-half substitute came closest, getting on the end of a corner, only to see an effort blocked nearly on the line by Forsberg before it was hooked clear by Swedish captain Andreas Granqvist.

The initial decision of penalty was overturned in favour of a free kick just outside the area and, with the last action of the match, Toivonen's powerful strike was saved by Sommer. In the end, it mattered little to Sweden.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo arrived at Russian Federation 2018 and departed without a goal in the knockout rounds of the World Cup to either of their names.

Ten-man #SUI are knocked-out thanks to a deflected strike from @eforsberg10! "It's incredibly hard to score against us".

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

"Others have been allowed to take a step forward [after] we lost one of the world's greatest football players", said current Sweden captain Andreas Granqvist before this match, and repeated inferences that team spirit resides where an ego used to have not been subtle. I'm not really anxious about anything else at this stage.

"We're not satisfied with this", he said. Some day I will look back on this in future and be very, very satisfied.

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