Sweden edge Switzerland to storm World Cup quarter-finals

Granit Xhaka of Switzerland celebrates scoring a goal

Sweden's Mikael Lustig mocked Granit Xhaka's Albanian eagle celebration in training Credit MB Media

"So very unfortunate, very lucky for Sweden, they scored the goal, winning the game on that and now in the in the quarter-finals".

Both teams were wasteful in possession and guilty of the sort of poor finishing and unimaginative midfield play that had boos and whistles ringing around the St Petersburg stadium from as early as the 25th minute.

Sweden have been playing as organized and team-oriented soccer as anyone at the World Cup this year, and they will need to be just as sound in all facets again on Tuesday.

A tight last 16 match was opened up by Forsberg in the 66th minute, when he found some space on the edge of the area and fired in a low drive which Yann Sommer would have fielded, but Manuel Akanji deflected it into the other side of the goal.

It promises to be a fascinating encounter as Sweden & Switzerland face off for a place in the quarter finals.

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"It's the biggest goal of my career, one of the biggest moments in my career too". He previously appeared as a substitute in Sweden's wins against South Korea and Mexico.

Switzerland responded to the setback by sending on forwards Breel Embolo and Haris Seferovic, and the latter at least tested Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen with a header in the closing stages.

Sweden right back Mikael Lustig will miss the quarterfinals after collecting his second yellow card of the tournament for a tug on Josip Drmic in the first half.

A blow for Sweden is that they will battle the Swiss without the services of influential midfielder Sebastian Larsson whose incisive crosses and set-pieces have proven useful in the tournament.

- Switzerland have still never won a World Cup knockout match; suffering elimination in all seven matches, including their last four round of 16 games (in 1994, 2006, 2014 and 2018).

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There was another success for the video assistant referee.

Sweden were given a late penalty when Michael Lang was sent off for bringing down Martin Olsson when through on goal, but after consulting VAR the foul was judged to be outside the area and a free-kick awarded instead.

It didn't matter, though.

At the other end Granit Xhaka hammered one shot narrowly over before Blerim Dzemaili followed suit.

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