Sweden scraped a victory when Emil Forsberg scored the only goal to secure a quarter final spot at the expense of Switzerland whose valiant efforts went unrewarded at the Saint Petersburg Stadium, St. Petersburg.
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Sweden emerged as leaders of Group F with victories over South Korea and Mexico and faced their only defeat at the hands of former world champions Germany. Switzerland on the other hand managed only one victory against Serbia combined with a draw to Brazil and Costa Rica.
Sweden kicked things off and as seen on many occasions Switzerland were subject to a slow and sloppy start to the game. This resulted in many early mistakes at the back which Marcus Berg and Mikael Lustig of Sweden were unable to capitalize on.
Switzerland had now settled into the game and were making more runs into the oppositions third. Xherdan Shaqiri supplied Steven Zuber with a near perfect cross which Zuber skied over the goalpost.
On the other end, Yann Sommer made a brilliant save to deny Marcus Berg a headed goal. The half continued with Switzerland dominating possession but Sweden creating most of the chances which they failed to convert.
Switzerland persevered and found pockets of space but were unable to find anything that might result in a goal. Sweden sustained their attacking pressure and missed another golden opportunity when Mikael Lustig floated the ball into an unmarked Albin Ekdal who slammed the ball straight over the cross bar.
Half Time – Sweden 0 – 0 Switzerland
The second half began with Sweden dominating play. They continued their horrendous finishing when Ola Toivonen smacked the ball over the bar once again wasting an opportunity.
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Switzerland showcased a spurt of promise when Ricardo Rodríguez found some space on the left wing. This was followed by four successive corners for Switzerland which Sweden easily coped with.
Sweden finally delivered when Toivonen passed the ball to Emil Forsberg who attacked from the left flank, cut onto his right just outside the six-yard box, faked his shot to clear up some space and finally took a shot which deflected off the Switzerland center back Manuel Akanji into the top right corner of the goal completely deceiving the helpless Yann Sommer.
Switzerland now upped their attack in search for an equaliser. They engaged their fullbacks and began to serve the ball into the oppositions third in an attempt to break the Swedish lock.
Xherdan Shaqiri tried his luck at goal but was unsuccessful. A complete shift in dynamics saw Sweden now on the back foot desperately defending their lead.
Switzerland plunged forward in an attempt to save their world cup but Sweden caught them on the counter and Michael Lang’s hopeless tackle on the runaway Martin Olsson saw him receive a red card and also giveaway a free kick to the Swedes right outside the penalty box. The resulting kick was saved by the goalkeeper.
Full Time – Sweden 1 – 0 Switzerland
Man of the Match – Emil Forsberg
Sweden – Emil Forsberg 66’
Sweden – Mikael Lustig 31’
Switzerland – Valon Behrami 61’, Granit Xhaka 61’
Switzerland – Michael Lang 90 + 3’