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Football: Sweden beats Switzerland to reach Q. Finals

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  • Post category:Football / Sports
  • Post last modified:04/07/2018
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SAINT PETERSBURG: Sweden reached the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time in 24 years after Emil Forsberg’s deflected shot earned a scrappy 1-0 win over Switzerland today.

This was far from a classic at the Saint Petersburg Stadium and if Colombia or England’s players were watching on from Moscow, they could be forgiven for feeling bullish about their prospects in the last eight. Switzerland’s Michael Lang was sent off in injury-time for a last-ditch push on Martin Olsson and referee Damir Skomina downgraded his penalty to a free-kick on the edge of the area.

But the game was already up. Forsberg’s second-half strike, which deflected off the unfortunate Manuel Akanji, means Sweden are through to the World Cup last eight for the first time since 1994 in the United States.

Their route to the quarters has not been easy and, what they have lost in the individual brilliance of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, they appear to have gained in grit, determination and collective spirit. Their next opponents would be foolish to take them lightly.

The one blemish on the victory was a yellow card for defender Mikael Lustig, who will now be suspended for the quarter-final in Samara on Saturday. Both sides had been hampered by suspensions here too, with Switzerland more badly affected. They were without both Fabian Schaer and captain Stephan Lichtsteiner at the back, prompting Johan Djourou and Lang to come in. 

Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic made four changes to his starting line-up for their World Cup last-16 match against Sweden on Tuesday. Two were forced as Johan Djourou and Michael Lang came into the defense, replacing suspended duo Fabian Schaer and captain Stephan Lichtsteiner. Steven Zuber was also preferred to Breel Embolo on the right of midfield while Josip Drmic replaced Mario Gavranovic up front, having scored against Costa Rica last week. Sweden made only one change to their team as Gustav Svensson came in for Sebastian Larsson, who is also serving a one-match ban. Sweden Robin Olsen; Mikael Lustig, Victor Lindelof, Andreas Granqvist (capt), Ludwig Augustinsson; Viktor Claesson, Gustav Svensson, Albin Ekdal, Emil Forsberg; Marcus Berg, Ola Toivonen.

Syed Aun

Syed Aun studied Media before starting to contribute to writing mostly on sports and local (Pakistani) politics.